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Fire at Indian chemical factory kills 18

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By Reuters

– Eighteen people were killed in a fire on Monday at a chemical factory in the western Indian city of Pune, police said.

The police said 20 people had survived the blaze and the charred bodies of all those killed had been recovered. An inquiry has been ordered by the district administration.

The fire was at a plant where chemical manufacturer SVS Aqua Technologies makes products including hand sanitizers, local media reported.

Footage shared on social media showed a thick plume of smoke billowing out as fire crews fought the blaze.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his condolences on Twitter. His office said the next of kin of these killed would receive 200,000 Indian rupees ($2,750) from a relief fund, and people who were injured would receive 50,000 Indian rupees.

SVS Aqua Technologies did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(This story refiles to say SVS Aqua Technologies in last paragraph)