The blaze started after a massive explosion inside a boiler at a company named Ramedeo chemicals around 11.40 pm, an official said, adding there were no immediate details about any casualty in the incident.
Firefighters from surrounding areas have been called in to help control the fire, which has spread over 0.4 ha, The Times of India reports. Preliminary reports suggest that the blasts occurred in 25 drums of 200-litre capacity belonging to Novaphene Speciality Limited, in their factory at Plot E-107, Boisar MIDC.
Fire tenders have reached the spot to carry out rescue operations.
"The reverberations of the blast were strongly felt in 8-10 kilometre radius".
The reverberations of the explosion were so intense that many people believed it was an quake and they stepped outside their homes late on Thursday night.
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During the search operation, three unidentified dead bodies were found, said an official.
The flames also engulfed Bharat Rasayan, Aarti Drugs, Unimax Chemicals and Prachi Pharmaceuticals, which share a wall with Novaphene.
Those who were present at the scene said: the blasts were "sounding like a huge bomb". The three deceased have been identified as Pintu Kumar Gautam, Janu Adaria, and Alok Nath, all employees of Arti Industries.
The 13 injured, three of them in a critical condition, were taken to hospital. The site manufactures specialty chemicals and cosmetic preservatives dealing in high purity acid and acid anhydrides. The cause of the fire will now be ascertained. Tarapur MIDC was the most important, as there are around 1,100 chemical units which store hazardous and flammable chemicals here.