10 women burnt to death in Pune factory blaze (Lead)

August 27th, 2008 - 11:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Pune/Mumbai, Aug 27 (IANS) A major fire after a loud blast in a chemical factory in Pune Wednesday killed 10 workers and seriously injured 10, all women, the police said.The blast took place around 4 p.m. in one of the containers in which chemicals, used for manufacturing ammunitions, were stored, at the Sai Enterprises and Sai Industries factory in the Bhosari industrial belt on the outskirts of the city.

Seconds after the blast, one of the women workers sounded the siren to warn her 35 co-workers present in the factory at the time. Within minutes, the fire had engulfed the entire one-storey factory building that was later found reduced to rubble.

Due to the impact of the blast, the door on the first floor of the factory was blown off, trapping the women.

In order to avoid the dense smoke and deadly fumes of the burning chemicals, they rushed to the toilet for shelter.

While six women were killed due to asphyxiation, four were killed when they panicked and jumped from the first floor of the factory to escape the flames.

Police and fire brigade teams managed to rescue at least 10 women who were rushed to the Yeshwantrao Chavan Hospital with severe injuries.

The police said it was not clear till late in the evening whether there were any more workers trapped inside the building although the fire was brought under control in three hours.

The factory was producing raw material which was supplied to a Kolkata-based ammunitions manufacturer, the police said.

Earlier, the police had said, on the basis of preliminary information, that the fire broke out in Kirloskar Electric Company.

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