Dump yard fire chokes Diva res­i­dents

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HTNAVIMUMBAI - Shashikant Kothekar shashikant.kothekar@hin­dus­tan­times.com

THANE: The fire in Diva dump­ing ground on Tues­day night spread panic and fear among res­i­dents.

Lo­cated 15km from Thane, the sub­urbs has a dump yard built by the Thane Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (TMC) in 2010.

On Tues­day around 10pm, thick smoke and foul odour filled the air af­ter some­one set the garbage on fire.

As many as 50 drums of chem­i­cals, some of them con­tain­ing in­flammable ma­te­rial, were found at the dump site, which may have caused the explosion.

TMC deputy com­mis­sioner Ashok Bu­rulle said: “On Wed­nes­day, af­ter the air cleared, we found 55 drums and chem­i­cals poured into a big pit. White fumes were em­a­nat­ing from the pit. Three drums were empty. We will reg­is­ter com­plaints against un­known per­sons.”

Res­i­dents suf f ered f rom breath­less­ness and headache. Many, in­clud­ing chil­dren, were ad­mit­ted to nearby hos­pi­tals.

A to­tal of 300 fam­i­lies were evac­u­ated im­me­di­ately. One among them was 70- year- old Geeta Thakur. “Around mid­night, fire bri­gade per­son­nel knocked the door. When I opened the door, I couldn’t see any­thing be­cause of the smoke. They guided me to the po­lice van. We were shifted to Mum­bra-Pan­vel Road

on a com­pany’s premises,” said Thakur.

The fumes and smoke was so toxic that the roads lead­ing to Diva were shut. Many peo­ple had to spend the night at rail­way plat­forms.

Af­ter the night- long or­deal, an­gry res­i­dents of Diva, Sabe and Khardi protested on Wed­nes­day against the dump­ing of garbage near their homes.

But, the TMC had al­ready de­cided not to send garbage trucks to Diva dump­ing ground.

Thane pol­lu­tion con­trol board in-charge Man­isha Prad­han said that they are test­ing the chem­i­cal sam­ples. “The white fumes are be­cause of chem­i­cal re­ac­tion.”

PRA­FUL GANGURDE

Res­i­dents cover their faces on Wed­nes­day, a day af­ter toxic fumes filled the air in Diva.

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