At least 18 bodies of workers have been recovered and five others are missing after a major fire broke out at a chemical company located in an industrial area in Pune district on Monday, fire department officials said.
According to the officials from the fire department of PMRDA (Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority), at least six fire tenders were sent to the plant of SVS Aqua Technologies in the Pirangut MIDC area in Mulshi tehsil to douse the flames.
"According to company officials, at least 17 of their workers were missing after the blaze broke out. "We have so far recovered five bodies and a search for the others employees is underway," said Devendra Potphode, chief fire officer, PMRDA Fire Services.
He said the firm is into manufacturing, supply, and export of air, water, and surface treatment chemicals.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the tragedy and offered his condolence to the families of those killed in the massive fire.
"Pained by the loss of lives due to a fire at a factory in Pune, Maharashtra. Condolences to the bereaved families,' PM Modi said in a tweet.
The prime minister also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from the PMNRF for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives in the incident. Rs. 50,000 would be provided to those injured, the Prime Minister's Office said.
President Ram Nath Kovind also expressed his condolences. “The loss of lives of workers, mostly women, in a fire accident at a factory in Pune is extremely unfortunate. My condolences to the families of the deceased. I pray for speedy recovery of the injured,” he tweeted.