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HomeArticle/ FeaturesDombivli MIDC: A Community Responds to Tragedy

Dombivli MIDC: A Community Responds to Tragedy

On May 23rd, 2024, at 1:35 PM, a chemical reactor explosion rocked the Dombivli MIDC industrial area. The powerful blast sent tremors through the surrounding area, damaging buildings and shops as far as five kilometres away. This horrific event left a trail of devastation, but amidst the chaos emerged a story of resilience and coordinated response.

Immediate Action:

Bimal Nathwani, Deputy Chief Warden of Civil Defence, sprang into action upon receiving news of the disaster. He alerted relevant authorities, including the Deputy Controller of Civil Defence, the District Disaster Management Office, and the Mumbai Main Control. Volunteers from across Thane divisions were mobilized to assist in the emergency response.

Securing the Site:

The first priority upon reaching the scene was to assess the situation and prevent further escalation. Civil Defence teams collaborated with Mahanagar Gas to shut down the underground valve, effectively mitigating the risk of additional explosions. Additionally, the Thane District Fire Brigade was called in to extinguish the fire and initiate rescue operations.

Relentless Rescue:

The initial day of rescue efforts stretched well into the night. Civil Defence volunteers, along with firefighters, tirelessly searched the wreckage. Sadly, ten bodies were recovered by the end of the first day. Injured individuals were swiftly transported to hospitals for treatment. Notably, female volunteers played a vital role in managing crowds and ensuring smooth passage for essential service vehicles, thereby expediting the rescue process.

Unwavering Support:

The subsequent three days saw a continuation of search and rescue operations. Teams worked tirelessly from dawn to dusk, recovering additional bodies and collecting DNA samples for identification. Drones were deployed to provide a comprehensive view of the accident site, and footage was presented to high-ranking officials for strategic planning. Photography Documentation was carried out by our Civil Defence Volunteer Rajesh Prabhakar.

Strength in Unity:

This tragedy underscored the power of a coordinated response. Civil Defence volunteers effectively collaborated with the Fire Brigade, Mahanagar Gas, NDRF, TDRF, Home Guards, and the Tehsil department. Their combined efforts were instrumental in managing the crisis, rescuing victims, and providing support to devastated families. Civil Defence volunteers from Mumbai further bolstered the relief efforts, offering crucial assistance.

Moving Forward:

The Dombivli MIDC incident was a stark reminder of the vulnerability we face in an industrial environment. However, it also highlighted the unwavering spirit of our community. Through the tireless efforts of all involved, the situation was brought under control, and support reached those who needed it most. In the face of tragedy, this response serves as a testament to the strength we find in unity. 


Submitted by:

Mr. Vijay Jadhav (Deputy Controller)

Mr. Bimal Vasant Nathwani

Deputy Chief Warden, Civil Defence,

Navi Mumbai Complex, Thane

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