17 workers killed in factory fire: Labour unions demand in-depth probe

On Monday, 17 workers, including 15 women, were killed when a fire broke out at the sanitiser making unit of SVS Aqua in Pirangut.

Labour unions in Pune have demanded an in-depth investigation into the fire incident at a chemical factory on Monday, in which 18 workers were killed. Addressing a press conference virtually on Tuesday, union leaders have blamed the “nexus” of companies and “safety-implementation” agencies that has lead to lowering of safety standards in the industrial sector.

On Monday, 17 workers, including 15 women, were killed when a fire broke out at the sanitiser making unit of SVS Aqua in Pirangut. Police claimed some bodies were charred and DNA sampling would be done to identify the remains.

The conference was organised by the joint action committee of labour unions and leaders like Kailash Kadam, Ajit Abhyankar, Dilip Pawar, Kishore Dhokale, Anil Roham Kiran Moghe among others took part. Addressing the media, they blamed the lack of proper safety audits, which led to the fire incident. Abhyankar claimed that majority of the workers in the unit were contractual staff despite the company being involved in handling chemicals. “Contractual staff was being used in a section where dangerous chemicals are being handled. A thorough investigation must be done how this was allowed,” he said.

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