Report filed on the incident of fire at the factory of Shakti Bio Science, Valsad, Gujarat, 26/08/2020
Report filed by the Director, Industrial Safety & Health, Ahmedabad in Original Application No. 168 of 2020 on the massive fire at chemical factory in Valsad, Gujarat.
The incidence of fire had taken place in the factory of Shakti Bio Science Ltd. , GIDC, Vapi, Valsad district on August 8, 2020. As per the information gathered, Shakti Bio Science Ltd., had stopped its manufacturing activity in 2013. At the time of stoppage, they had completed the 5th stage of manufacturing of Meta Phenoxy Benzaldehyde (MPBD) products i.e. completed the stage of crude MPBD manufacturing and stored it in approximately 150 high-density polyethylene (HDPE) drums of 200 liters.
The factory restarted operation before August 8, 2020 to recover fifth stage crude MPBD to get distilled MPBD (finished product). On August 8, 2020 the unit started operation to recover MPBD with 4 reactors. At around 11:30 A.M during the manufacturing process, fire was observed in thermocol plastic/rubber/paper waste and spread to the whole building of pharma division.
The probable cause of incident, seems to be short circuit in electric panel or cable in Pharma plant followed by fire in common storage area used for recovered solvents, in process materials and then in API plant. Actual cause would be be known after FSL, Electrical Inspector and other concerned agencies report. Prohibitory order has been issued to factory under section 40(2) of The Factories Act 1948 on August 10, 2020 - to stop the manufacturing activities for the compliance of various safety provisions.
The report also mentioned that before the incident, an officer from the Industrial Safety & Health had visited the factory on November 2016 and September 2019. During both visit it was found that there were no manufacturing activities carried out so remarks had been given for intimation of starting and stoppage of manufacturing activities in prescribed format as per Rule 113 of Gujarat Factories Rules-1963 but they didn’t intimate the district office before starting the plant.