June 03,2020– There was a massive blast at a chemical plant in the Dahej area of Bharuch district in the state of Gujarat, India in which there were 5 fatalities and several injured. The accident occurred at the factory site of Yashasvi Rasayan Pvt Ltd, which is a manufacturer of chemicals such as Para Chloro Aniline (PCA) and Parachloroaniline Hydrochloride. They also apparently manufacture several other chemicals such as 4-Amino Benzonitrile and Ortho Phenoxy Aniline.
The number of fatalities were 3 at the time of the blast and seem to have increased to 5.
The blast was followed by a fire. Some people in the surrounding area, working in other facilities could hear the sound of the explosion, apparently it was heard even 20 kms away! Some buildings in other facilities in the neighborhood were also affected, the most common effect was window panes cracking due to the blast.
Two villages in the vicinity had to be evacuated as several people got affected. Many of the injured people have reported to have burn wounds, due to the massive explosion.
Dahej is a port in Gujarat, India and has a large number of chemical manufacturing facilities.
The authorities have shut down the facility pending investigation.
This major accident follows the one reported a few weeks ago in the LG Polymers accident plant at Vishakhapatnam (also known as Vizag), a port city in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. It seems that in many plants that were shut or had reduced production, pre-startup safety reviews are not being conducted, to avoid the possibility of having accidents while starting up after a prolonged shutdown.
All chemical plants should have a number of safety measures in place including conducting periodic safety studies such as HAZOP and LOPA, to prevent accidents. This is because in the chemical process industries, the cost of even a single accident can far exceed the cost of the entire asset.