Two held for set­ting fire to plas­tic fac­tory

Gulf Times - - INDIA - By Ashraf Padanna

Po­lice in Ker­ala yes­ter­day ar­rested two work­ers for set­ting fire to a plas­tic fac­tory af­ter the man­age­ment cut their salaries.

Fam­ily Plas­tics, a lead­ing ex­porter, last week re­ported a loss of Rs5bn in the blaze that gut­ted its ware­house in the state cap­i­tal.

Fire­fight­ers worked overnight to douse the blaze which also turned into an eco­log­i­cal dis­as­ter for Thiruvananthapuram that boasts of cleaner air com­pared to other cities in In­dia.

The po­lice iden­ti­fied the em­ploy­ees as Vi­mal Ku­mar and Binu.

The com­pany last month cut their pay by Rs 600, which an­gered them.

Ac­cord­ing to the po­lice they two men planned to start a mi­nor fire, but it went out of con­trol as there were highly in­flammable chem­i­cals stored at the fac­tory.

“There was a mi­nor fire from a short cir­cuit a day be­fore, and they thought they could make this fire too look sim­i­lar,” said Anil Ku­mar, as­sis­tant com­mis­sioner of po­lice.

There were no ca­su­al­ties, but two peo­ple who felt un­ease were taken to hospi­tal.

The ware­house con­tained raw ma­te­ri­als in­clud­ing pe­tro­leum prod­ucts.

More than 120 work­ers on the night shift man­aged to run to safety as the fire spread and en­gulfed the five-story man­u­fac­tur­ing and stor­age fa­cil­ity built in 1998.

“We sus­pected that it could be sab­o­tage. So we first started ques­tion­ing five peo­ple the com­pany fired ear­lier,” the po­lice of­fi­cer said.

“As there was no clue, we turned to the em­ploy­ees on the roll. Then one of them con­fessed. He seemed men­tally un­sta­ble,” Ku­mar said.

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