Surat: Three people were killed and one reported missing in the major fire in storage tank number four of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) terminal in Hazira which was contained after a 21-hour operation by the fire brigade team on Sunday. Earlier, the bodies of two people had been recovered from near the tank number 4.
Surat District Collector Jayprakash Shivhare said, "We were able to contain the fire after a massive operation going on for the last 21 hours." The operation is still on to get total control over the situation, he added. "When we got a fire call in one of the petrol tanks of IOC terminal here yesterday afternoon, fire experts opined that the crucial thing would be to contain the blaze from spreading to other storage tanks while allowing the petrol in the tank number four to burn out," Shivhare said.
The IOC facility at Hazira has nine tanks located nearby each other. The tank number four had almost 5,000 kilolitre of petrol, half of its capacity, when it caught fire. "Fire brigade personnel did a commendable job by restricting the fire to one tank only, in an operation which started last afternoon," he said.
"The petrol in the tank number four has almost burnt out by now, while we have managed to ensure that fire does not spread to other tanks by constantly spraying water and foam on them to keep them cool," he added. This is the second major fire at IOC storage depots since 2009.
On October 29, 2009, a fire broke out at its Jaipur terminal which was blamed on non-observance of normal safety procedures. The Jaipur depot fire raged for 11 days, killed 11 people and resulted in losses worth Rs 280 crore. "We had called all the resources at our disposal. The fire brigade teams from all the big cities and nearby small towns of Gujarat were called in. Fire tenders of privates companies were also called," he said. IOC has ordered an internal inquiry to find out the cause of fire.
With Additional Inputs from PTI