A massive fire that broke out early in the morning on Thursday destroyed a huge quantity of skimmed milk powder and paper and polythene used for packaging the powder at the Sholinganallur plant of Aavin. Initial estimates have put the damage at about Rs.2.5 crore. No one was hurt and the cause of the fire is still being investigated.

According to personnel of Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services, the fire broke out at 3.20 a.m. in a building where the paper that served as the inner packaging material and polythene, the outer packing material of skimmed milk powder, were piled up.

In addition to this, skimmed milk powder was also stored in the building, which is at a distance from the main dairy unit.

Staff noticed smoke from the building and alerted their seniors on duty, who, in turn, informed the Fire Control Room. Fire Tenders from Siruseri, Thiruvanmiyur, Guindy, Raj Bhavan, Ashok Nagar, Tambaram and Maraimalai Nagar Stations reached the dairy and battled for over three hours to bring the flames under control.

The damage was extensive. The fire had caused so much of heat that resulted in the damage to the thick walls of the building.

Electrical short circuit was suspected to be the cause of the fire.

A case has been registered at Semmanchery police station and detailed investigations were on.

Apurva Verma, Managing Director, Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers Federation and other senior officials visited the spot.

An Aavin spokesperson said the damage caused was extensive and the loss was around Rs.2.5 crore.

He was quick to add that there was no damage to machinery or the dairying unit.

The Sholinganallur Dairy supplied around 3.5 lakh litres of milk every day through milk sachets and also through tankers to automatic vending machines and bulk customers to several places in south Chennai through 31 routes.

The milk that comes to the Sholinganallur Dairy is processed, skimmed and categorised before being dispatched to the various locations. There was no disruption in supply of milk on Thursday and it would remain unaffected on Friday too, he added.

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