Three killed after massive blaze at chemical factory

A massive fire that started in a chemical factory in western India and spread to six other factories has killed at least three workers and injured 13, police said.

Police officer Manjunath Shinge said the bodies were recovered early today, 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 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 was not clear if the casualties were only in the factory where the fire started.

The 13 injured, three of them in a critical condition, were taken to hospital.

The factory is located around 65 miles north of Mumbai, the state capital.

- PA

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