At least 21 workers were hospitalised, one with severe burn injuries, after a chemical leak from a tank inside a plant at Nira-Nimbut near Pune in Maharashtra, according to police sources reported by the Times of India. Police said chemicals overflowed from the tank and the plant authorities immediately shut the valve and contained the leak.
The Times quoted a local with knowledge of the incident saying 42 were affected by a blast at the plant and that three workers were in critical condition. Another said the tank was overfilled with acetic anhydride, which caused a pressure build-up leading to the explosion.
The chemical hung in the air for several hours after the incident, causing discomfort and breathing difficulties for locals.
A protest committee has been active for 10 years, the Times said, coordinating legal action against the plant’s operators over alleged dumping of effluents in the local river.