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GNFC plant mishap claims 5 lives

Our Bureau

Ahmedabad , Oct. 15

AN explosion that rocked the nitrophosphate complex of Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers Company (GNFC) in the south Gujarat district of Bharuch on Tuesday night has claimed the lives of five men, including three GNFC employees and two contract workers. As many as 31 workers were injured in the mishap.

While the cause of the accident is yet to be ascertained, a preliminary estimate by the company has put the overall damage at approximately Rs 200 crore.

Talking to Business Line, Mr Balwant Singh, Managing Director, GNFC, said it was only the 135,000-tpa nitrophosphate plant that has been hit by the accident.

All the other units of the fertiliser company, whose other products include urea, ammonia, methanol, formic acid and acetic acid, continued to function to their capacity on Wednesday, he said.

According to a company release here on Wednesday, the sound of the explosion at 9.05 p.m. was so intense that fire fighters and medical units from various industrial units from far-off areas such Ankleshwar and Jhagadia were soon pressed into service.

It was only prompt action that saved the lives of quite a few workers who were buried under the debris of the factory building that collapsed under the impact of the blast.

The GNFC has set up an inquiry committee to look into the cause of the accident and submit a preliminary report over the next two days.

The management would also commence the repair of the damaged plant and machinery at the nitrophosphate unit at the earliest, the release added.

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