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Illegal sanitiser factory bulldozed by raging fire

Last Updated : 10 November 2020, 20:36 IST

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Firefighters at work to douse the fire. DH PHOTO/JANARDHAN B K
Firefighters at work to douse the fire. DH PHOTO/JANARDHAN B K
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A huge orange fireball erupts as fire breaks out at a chemical factory at New Guddadahalli, off Mysuru Road, Bengaluru on Tuesday. DH PHOTO/JANARDHAN B K
A huge orange fireball erupts as fire breaks out at a chemical factory at New Guddadahalli, off Mysuru Road, Bengaluru on Tuesday. DH PHOTO/JANARDHAN B K
The thick cloud of smoke could be seen from afar. DH PHOTO/JANARDHAN B K
The thick cloud of smoke could be seen from afar. DH PHOTO/JANARDHAN B K

A chemical factory manufacturing hand sanitisers was razed to the ground by a massive fire that raged for over six hours on Tuesday, police said.

Fire broke out at 11 am at Rekha Chemical Corporation, located in 1st Main, Bapujinagar near Mahadev School at New Guddadahalli, Mysuru Road, after a bunch of barrels exploded in a series around 11 am. Four workers inside the factory managed to exit the building before the fire engulfed the whole building.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Sanjeev M Patil said the fire occurred when 23-year-old Biju Singh was transferring the chemical from one barrel to another using a pipe. A static charge triggered a spark and caused the fire. Seven vehicles were gutted, and the losses run up to Rs 2 to 3 crore. Three fire and emergency personnel identified as Revanna Siddappa, 36, Siddegowda, 35, and Siddegowda, 34, were injured trying to douse the fire and were rushed to hospital.

Senior fire and emergency officials said they received a call at 11.18 am on Tuesday. They sent three firefighters, but the fire was uncontrollable. They sent 12 more firefighters who fought for more than six hours to put out the fire. Patil said Kamala Sajjanraj, the wife of Sajjan Raj, was running Rekha Chemical Corporation in Bommasandra. Despite having the necessary licences for the showroom, she did not obtain clearance for the 1,000-square foot godown in Bapujinagar, where barrels containing chemicals were stored. They were storing 2,010 barrels and on Tuesday nearly 1,000 barrels were at the godown to prepare sanitisers and thinners used in paints. The substances are highly inflammable.

The workers gave a statement saying the factory was making sanitisers and supplying it to Biocon. Police are still verifying the statement. Meanwhile, an FIR has been registered against Kamala based on a complaint filed by Ayaz Pasha, the owner of Balaji Plastic Industries. She was booked under the Explosives Act, IPC section 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter) and 427 (mischief causing damage) and other sections.

Two houses damaged

Two houses adjacent to the factory suffered partial damage in the fire. Furniture stored at the terrace of the building was also gutted. Ahmed, who owns a nearby factory and alerted the fire department, said he heard two workers screaming and rushing out and saw smoke engulfing the factory. Police evacuated residents of nearby houses.

Fire and LPG lines were severed to prevent further damage.

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Published 10 November 2020, 20:04 IST

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