A 32 year old fireman was killed while dousing a fire in a chemical company in Taloja, Navi Mumbai after inhaling hazardous chemical fumes in the wee hours of Saturday. Three other firemen who complained of difficulties in breathing are under observation in a Navi Mumbai hospital. Fire fighting teams from four different local governing bodies were involved in seven hours long operation with ten fire tenders.
The deceased has been identified as Balu Damu Deshmukh, a fireman from Ambernath fire station.
The fire broke out shortly after midnight at plot J39 in Mody Chemi-Pharma Pvt Ltd which reportedly manufactures materials for pharmaceutical companies.
Deepak Dorugade, Taloja MIDC fire station chief, who himself is under observation after inhaling the fumes, said, “We received the fire call at 12.05 am. When we reached the spot the one storey building was completely engulfed in flames and there were explosions taking place inside. Our priority was to ensure that the nine chlorine tunnels with 900 kg chlorine in each were protected from fire.”
Chlorine gas is very poisonous and does not dilute easily in air. If there had been an explosion in even one tunnel it would have been catastrophic with lives being lost, claimed Dorudage. The team managed to ensure the drums were secured. Fire personnel from Navi Mumbai, CIDCO, MIDC and also Ambernath rushed to the spot to douse the blaze.
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