Four people, including a four-year-old girl and her mother, were killed when a boiler exploded at a manufacturing plant run by Canton Laboratories in Gujarat, India, on 24 December. 11 others were injured, including another child, according to local news reports.
The cause of the boiler explosion is being investigated. The blast destroyed temporary units that the company had put up a few metres away from the boiler complex. While listed as storage in plans, it transpires that employees and their families were living there, in violation of local regulations. The mother and daughter were inside when the units collapsed. The other two victims were operators in the boiler room.
On 25 December, two directors of Canton Laboratories were arrested and charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The company makes fine and speciality chemicals, supplying a range of industries from pharmaceuticals to electronics and photography.
This is the third deadly incident at chemicals facilities in Gujarat in December 2021, after one person was killed at RP industries on 7 December, and five died in an explosion at Gujarat Fluorochemicals on 16 December.