Dump yard fire chokes Diva residents
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.”
Residents cover their faces on Wednesday, a day after toxic fumes filled the air in Diva.