Maharashtra: 16 labourers injured in Raigad fire extinguisher manufacturing unit blaze

According to police, the incident occurred around 4 pm in the testing facility of Cryptzo Engineering Pvt Ltd at MIDC in Bhagad. (Representational Image)

At least 16 labourers sustained burn injuries on Friday reportedly after a testing exercise went “out of control” at a building in Raigad’s Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), police said. Five labourers suffered third-degree burns and are stated to be in serious condition.

According to police, the incident occurred around 4 pm in the testing facility of Cryptzo Engineering Pvt Ltd at MIDC in Bhagad. The unit manufactures clean agent fire suppression system and had a stock of both raw materials used for dousing fire and materials used to spark one for assessing a fire extinguisher.

According to police, a testing exercise at the unit reportedly went “out of control” leading to the fire. Labourers working inside and outside the testing unit sustained injuries when the fire could not be contained, police added.

According to police, the unit was set up at Mangaon in 2015. The company website claims it conducts “quality testing, warehousing, procurement, production, sales and marketing” of fire suppressants. Krishna Kumar from the company’s sales team said the Raigad unit manufactures fire extinguishers and has a standard operating procedure for safe testing. “We are trying to figure out what went wrong in the factory,” he told The Indian Express. An official from the factory site, however, said they suspected a “gas leak” sparked the fire.

Raigad Superintendent of Police Anil Paraskar said they were waiting for the factory inspector’s enquiry report before registering an FIR in the case. “If we find any discrepancies in safety norms, we will register a case against the factory owners. Our team is investigating the incident,” he said.

The injured were rushed to a rural hospital in Mangaon. Four of them were later shifted to MGM hospital in Panvel, while four others, who had suffered over 60 per cent burns and were serious, were shifted to National Burns Centre in Airoli, Navi Mumbai.