Mock drill tests readiness of authorities
At sharp 11.05 am on Tuesday, a siren indicating fire mishap rang at the Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL), caught many people in the premises unawares.
The refinery premises at the MRPL soon witnessed number of security personnel in action. The fire fighters were immediately pressed into service and alarm was given for people to vacate the buildings.
The mock drill on ‘Off-site emergency response management plan,’ conducted by the MRPL in co-ordination with the District Administration, tested the preparedness of various emergency services and their mutual co-ordination at the time of emergency. The mock drill is conducted as a part of Chemical Disaster Prevention Day.
The spot was soon presented with fire force of MRPL. The fire force soon started sprinkling the foam to avoid further spread of fire.
Soon the message was spread that the ‘fire’ is beyond control and spreading fast. By the time, vehicles from Karnataka State Emergency Service and fire services of BASF and MCF rushed to the spot. The security guards closed the entrances and hospitals were alerted about the situation. People from the MRPL Township and nearby Bala village were evacuated soon.
Additional Deputy Commissioner Dayanand, Chief Fire Officer H S Varada Rajan, MRPL General Manager (Oil Movement and Safety) U V Aithal and Factory Manager H P Pai rushed to the spot and oversaw the operation along with MRPL Fire and Safety Security Manager Athul. By 12.35 pm, the 90 minutes long exercise got over as the officials declared the situation is ‘under control’.
A review meet held after the mock drill and discussed various aspects of the exercise. The observers lauded the effectiveness of security arrangements and communication system, but raised concern over the role of police.