Major fire at plastic factory

Fire and Rescue Services personnel fighting fire at the plastic factory in Manvila in Thiruvananthapuram.   | Photo Credit: S. Mahinsa

A major fire broke out at a plastic manufacturing facility at Manvila in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday evening. No casualties have been reported. According to the Fire and Rescue Services officials, reports of the fire at the Family Plastics facility first reached them after 7 p.m. All the fire engine units from Thiruvananthapuram district, and some from Kollam district have been requisitioned to put out the fire for the past four hours at the factory.

The factory is located only a few km away from the Greenfield Cricket Stadium at Karyavattom, where an ODI cricket match between India and West Indies is to be held on Thursday.

“The presence of large quantities of plastic materials makes it hard to control the fire. The fire fighting might have to go on till early morning,” said District Collector K.Vasuki.

After end of shift

Close to 600 people are employed in the factory. The fire occurred after the end of the day’s shift. The few staff who had turned up for night duty have been evacuated. Residents of the nearby houses have also been evacuated.

“I heard a loud noise around 7 p.m. When I got out of the gate, I saw huge amounts of smoke billowing out of the factory. Some of the workers were seen running out,” says Chellappan, security guard at an aluminium company adjacent to the plastic factory.

The reason for the fire has not been ascertained conclusively, although initial reports point to a short circuit. According to Shyjan, a worker at the factory, the fire began from one of the godowns and spread to the adjacent manufacturing facility too. Two days back, a fire had broken out at one of the godowns here, which was put out by two fire engines.

Panther fire fighting trucks from the airport were also deployed to spray foam into the raging fire. Even though it managed to put out fire at a part of the building, the blaze spread again soon to the same area.

“One of the major challenges we are facing is the lack of access to the factory. We have only two access points, from where only two fire engines can operate at a time. A diesel tank and some oxygen cylinder godowns are located nearby. The effort now is to stop the fire from spreading to these areas,” said Vijaya Singh, a member of the Quick Response Team.

Toxic fumes

One person, Jayaram Raghu (18), who lost consciousness after inhaling the smoke, was shifted to the Government Medical College hospital. Disaster Management and health officials have warned the public against staying for a longer period of time near the spot of the fire accident, due to the possible health hazards from toxic fumes.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 2:24:02 PM |

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