Chemical Factory in Southern India Kills 6, Injures 12

Reuters, April 14, 2022

A fire at a chemical factory in southern India killed at least six people and injured 12, a government official said on Thursday, with more casualties feared in the second such accident this week.

Pictures of the scene provided by government officials showed Wednesday's massive blaze, with at least two bodies lying on the floor of the factory in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

"There is a possibility of casualties increasing," V. Prasanna Venkatesh, administrative chief of the surrounding district of Eluru, told Reuters.

"Chemical processing was being done (in the unit) and gas cylinders were stored there."

The exact cause of the fire was not immediately clear but it could have been triggered when the cylinders burst for some reason, Venkatesh said, adding that authorities were investigating.

In the western state of Gujarat, a massive explosion at a chemicals plant killed six people this week. 

Fatal fires in factories, hospitals and shopping complexes are common in India and often blamed on people flouting safety norms, as well as lax inspection by government officials.

(Reporting by Jatindra Dash; Writing by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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