India’s Aether Industries ordered to shut blast affected site by pollution regulator

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian specialty chemicals maker Aether Industries said on Friday that it was ordered by the pollution control board of Gujarat on Nov. 30 to stop production at its blast-affected site in Surat until further instructions.

A storage tank blast killed seven people and injured 24 at one of the company’s plants in the port city in Gujarat state, Aether Industries confirmed on Thursday.

“We firmly believe that the closure direction is subject to reconsideration, and we have expressed our stance on the matter to the relevant authorities,” Aether said in a statement.

The cause of the explosion, which occurred early on Wednesday, is yet to be ascertained, a city fire official Omprakash Mishra had said.

Shares of Aether Industries were up 2.1% on Friday, a day after tumbling to a one-year low in the aftermath of the incident.

The company had said it would cover the medical expenses of the injured workers and give 2.5 million rupees ($29,998) per person “in case of any permanent disability”.

It also promised to give additional compensation of five million rupees to the families of the deceased.

($1 = 83.3380 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Kashish Tandon in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Eileen Soreng)