NEW DELHI – A massive fire that started in a chemical factory in western India and spread to six other factories killed at least three workers and injured 13, police said Friday.
Police officer Manjunath Shinge said the bodies were recovered early Friday, hours after the fire erupted at the factory in Palghar district in Maharashtra state.
The fire was set off by a boiler explosion, but the cause of the explosion was not immediately known.
The loud blast was heard several miles away around midnight Thursday and many villagers rushed out of their homes in panic, the Indian Express newspaper reported. It said several drums containing chemicals exploded at the factory.
The blaze spread to six other factories before it was controlled by firefighters, police said.
It wasn't clear if the casualties were only in the factory where the fire started. The 13 injured, three of them in critical condition, were hospitalized.
The factory is located nearly 110 kilometers (65 miles) north of Mumbai, the state capital.
Fires at Indian factories are common as many don't follow safety laws and some lack sprinklers and other firefighting equipment.