At least one worker was injured after a major fire broke out following an explosion at a pharmaceutical unit near Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh on Monday night, officials said. The incident triggered panic among the residents in the Paravada area as it came just over a couple of months after the styrene vapour leak in the LG Polymers plant in the region.
An explosion was first heard at Pharma City, following which there was a huge fire. The incident is said to have occurred in the Coastal Waste Management Project, a unit of Ramky Solvents, according to sources. At least nine fire tenders were being pressed into service to put out the massive blaze and also prevent it from spreading to other pharma plants in the vicinity, Visakhapatnam District Collector V Vinay Chand said.
A worker sustained burn injuries, while three others who were also at the unit when the incident occurred escaped to safety. The injured was rushed to a hospital in Gajuwaka in the city for treatment, Chand said. The cause of the incident is not yet known, and fire and emergency services personnel could not immediately reach the spot as the blaze has engulfed the area, police sources said.
State Industries Minister M Goutham Reddy spoke to Visakhapatnam district Collector and enquired about the incident. He directed the district administration to first evacuate workers who were on night shifts at other units.
Reddy asked the police, fire services and health officials to be on high alert and ensure that there were no loss of lives. Last month, a gas leak incident in one of the companies in the Pharma City left two workers dead and four injured.