Oil depot fire dies down in 4 tankers, more bodies found
Last updated: 31 October, 2009
Abha Sharma, Jaipur:, Oct 31, DHNS: 23:42 IST
Death toll 8, diesel and kerosene tankers may take 10-12 hours to extinguish Jaipur fire
With the death toll in IOC depot’s devastating fire rising to eight on Saturday, the state government has decided to shift oil depots situated in the city to at least 35 km away from densely populated areas.
The decision was taken by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot himself so that such accidents which put human lives to risk could to be stopped at any cost.
At least three oil depots — Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat petroleum — are presently located at the Sitapura industrial area in Jaipur. The LPG bottling plant is also situated in the same hub. There is a Bharat Petroleum LPG plant in another industrial area, Vishwakarma hub, inside the city.
Three more bodies were recovered from the IOC premises on Saturday, raising the death toll to eight.
Two of the bodies are so badly burnt that identification is very difficult. Doctors at SMS hospital are conducting a DNA test to assess their identity. Meanwhile gigantic flames and smoke can still be seen billowing from the oil tankers. SP (East) Biju G Joseph said the petrol tankers have fully burnt, but the remaining diesel and kerosene tankers may take another 10-12 hours to fully burn itself out.
As a safety measure, the Army and IOC administration has also dug a five-feet deep trench around the blazing storage tanks to contain any leakage. In case the tanks collapse after the fire totally dies down, the trench could absorb the fuel seeping out, District Collector Kuleep Ranka said.
While the residents of Jaipur are still under shock from the massive fire that has refused to die down even on the third day, environmentalists are apprehensive of its hazards.
It is being reported that the burning of approximately one crore litres of fuel has resulted in production of 100 crore litres of nitrogen and sulphur gases which can result in acid rain in a stretch of 40 km during the winter season. It can also result in drying up of many trees and plants in the region.
Though the neighbouring areas have been evacuated the carbon-monoxide, carbon-dioxide and sulphur-dioxide gases spreading in the atmosphere with the wind direction is not only polluting the environment but is also posing danger for the health of people living in the city, especially children. The smoke is affecting the eyes and may also result in skin disorders as well. The constant smoke has also increased the temperature.