Hyderabad, June 30: At least 17 workers were injured after a chemical factory caught fire in Andhra Pradesh's Srikakulam district this morning, according to District Collector Venkatrami Reddy. The fire broke out after a blast inside the Nagarjuna Agrichemical factory. Mr Reddy said the injured have been shifted to the local RIMS hospital.
District police chief KVV Gopal Rao told NDTV the management has said there was no one trapped inside and that there was no casualty. There may have been upto 40 people in the plant at the time.
Workers, however, say they suspect upto 15 people may be trapped inside. They said their families were moving out of the area to safety.
Even two hours after the fire broke out in block five reactor, some blasts could still be heard inside, and the fire had spread to the nearby blocks. Fire-fighting equipment was brought in from the neighbouring districts as well.
Huge amounts of chemical laden smoke was belching out along with the raging fire, causing panic in the area. Locals said villagers around the plant were being asked to move away but the district SP said that was not true. He said the smoke toxicity did not warrant evacuation.
Local environment activist Dr Krishnamurthy said the factory was over two decades old and environment degradation, wastage disposal and safety had been concerns expressed by them even in the past with regard to the agrichemical unit.