The Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) team on Thursday has launched an investigation into the blast at an illegal chemical factory called Sahil Enterprise on Pirana-Piplaj Road in Ahmedabad City.

12 persons including five women were either charred to death or asphyxiated to death or buried under the debris of three partially collapsed industrial units when a powerful explosion occurred in a chemical processing unit on Pirana-Piplaj Road on Wednesday.

The FSL team arrived at the scene on Thursday morning and began an investigation into how the chemical factory exploded and where the chemicals were lying.

The samples taken by the FSL team yesterday were so inflammable that the plastic bottles and bags in which the chemicals were taken also melted. Later, the FSL team had to order glass bottles and take samples.

At the same time, the entire debris is being removed with the help of two JCB machines in the morning and the factory operator Hitesh Sutaria has been detained by the Narol police and taken to the police station.

Sector 2 JCP Gautam Parmar said that a chemical blast took place at a company called Sahil Enterprise, in which two to three chemicals like hydrogen peroxide and ethanol-methanol were used to make a catalyst in which the chemical was used.

The case will be registered after documentary evidence and opinion of FSL. The probe will cover the questions where the chemical was brought from, whether the factory had a license and whether it had any storage arrangement.

What is alarming is that in many areas of the south zone of the city, including Pirana, Piplaj, Shahwadi and Narol, process houses and factories are functioning without an approval or NOC.

However, the reality is that there are many areas in the southern zone where anti-social elements and land mafias have illegally occupied municipal land and had set up factories. No plans have been approved or the NOC of the fire department has been obtained. What is deplorable is that no concrete action has been taken by the estate or fire department against such units for years, which has led to an increase in the number of fires and resultant deaths in these areas in recent few years.