The Bengaluru police have arrested the three owners of a chemical unit of Rekha Chemicals and Rekha Chemical corporation on Wednesday where a major fire had broken out causing huge loss of property valued at more than Rs 3 crore. The chemical unit was located in Bapujinagar near Hosaguddadahalli in West Bengaluru and the fire department took more than six hours to douse the fire on Tuesday. While 15 fire engines were sent to the spot at around 11:45 am, the fire was not completely extinguished even by 6 pm. Officers at the South Fire Stationâ€™s control room said that they had to ensure that the fire did not spread into households located in the vicinity.
Police arrested the owners Sajjan Raj, 66, Kamala, 60, and Anil Kumar, 30, for conducting their business from a thickly populated residential locality and without obtaining any requisite permissions from Karnataka Pollution Control Board, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) or Fire and Emergency Service departments.
Deputy Commissioner of the Police West division, Sanjeev M Patil said that Sajjan Raj had been into the Chemical supplies business for nearly three decades in the name of Rekha Chemicals, and his wife Kamala is the owner of Rekha Chemicals Corporations. "Whereas their son, Kumar has been running this business for quite some time," he explained.
The DCP added that nearly 64,000 litres of 16 highly inflammable types of chemicals were stored in more than 320 barrels. Police said that the fire broke out when one of their employees was transferring chemicals from one barrel to the other. "As these chemicals are highly inflammable, transferring the chemicals produced static charge due to a hot, sunny day and a fire of this magnitude broke out," the police said.
Preliminary investigations by the police further revealed that the fire broke out and went out of control as an adjoining godown had stored large quantities of plastic material.