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Sakarwadi Tragedy

Sakarwadi Tragedy THE explosion of the acetaldehyde tank in Somayya Organic Chemicals (hereafter SOC) at Sakarwadi, Ahmednagar district, on December 19, 1985, with 12 people burnt to death and nearly 80 people left with serious burn injuries, forewarns about the impending danger facing rural Maharashtra today and in years to come. The SOC with an installed capacity of 5,000 tonnes of acetic acid per year, was started in 1960 as an allied industry to the Godavari Sugar Mills Ltd owned by the Somayya Group of Industries. Acetaldehyde, the intermediary product in the manufacture of acetic acid from ethyl alcohol, is stored in four tanks each with a capacity of 20 metric tonnes. One of the tanks, which was said to be partially filled, exploded on that day at around

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