Loss due to the fire estimated at Rs. 70 crore

A fire that broke out in a warehouse in one of the five blocks of bulk drug manufacturing unit Glochem Industries Limited at the Jawaharlal Nehru Pharma City here on Thursday evening gutted the unit.

However, there were no casualties as the management evacuated all the 120 workers who were on duty at that time.

The loss is estimated to be at least Rs 70 crore as the fire, which began around 5:15 p.m., burnt down the entire unit, including raw material, finished product as well as the manufacturing facility, company’s general manager RA Kulkarni told The Hindu . “We will have to start afresh,” he added.

Four of the five blocks were reduced to ashes and the fifth block was burning and the fire was likely to continue into the night, police sources said. The sporadic breeze was fanning the flames.

Isolated unit

Firefighters who reached the spot with 12 fire engines from Pharma City, Visakhapatnam and Anakapalle found that the chemical fire could not be extinguished with water and had to wait for the flames with billowing black smoke to subside on its own.

Late in the night the firefighters started using foam and water to extinguish the remains of the fire, while the fifth unit continued to burn.

The unit is an isolated one located on a 5.3-acre plot on one of the corners of the Ramky-promoted JN Pharma City.

This ensured that the fire was contained and did not pose a threat to public safety, District Collector V Seshadri said. The Collector rushed to the spot accompanied by revenue officials and left after ensuring that there were no casualties. Joint Chief Inspector of Factories Chandrasekhar Varma, who reached the site earlier, said that they would probe the accident from all angles.

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