IOC fire: Deora saw no option but to let fuel burn

IOC fire: Deora saw no option but to let fuel burn

Rising flames after a major fire broke out at the Indian Oil Corporation depot in the Sitapura industrial area in Jaipur on Thursday. PTI

"This is unprecedented in India," said Deora, who arrived early morning to take stock of the situation, even as experts were brought in both from the Mathura refinery of Indian Oil and the Bombay High oil wells, off the Mumbai shore.

"We will have to let all the fuel burn. Only then will experts be able to go anywhere near the site," Deora told reporters here after a visit to the site with senior officials of the state-run company. "We expect the fuel to burn out by evening."

He said he will also order an inquiry into the matter but after due consultations with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. The extent of damage was also being ascertained, he added.

The oil minister said the cause of fire was being ascertained.Some eyewitnesses said the fire broke out after gas leaked from one of the tanks, which also caused a loud explosion. The flames could be seen from a distance of over 15 km.

The company has 11 huge tanks and all of them were seen burning. Around 25 fire tenders were pressed into service.

"The incident occurred at around 7.15 p.m. and we immediately pressed ambulances and fire tenders into service," a district administration official told IANS, adding. "As a precautionary measure we have evacuated the nearby villages."
The injured have been admitted to the government-run SMS Hospital and the nearby Mahatma Gandhi Hospital, he said.

"I work in a factory very near the area. As soon as the fire broke out, we rushed out of our factory. We also heard a couple of loud explosions," Ramkumar, a worker in a small factory, said.

Amit Agarwal, a student of a private engineering college around 2 km away from the site, said the glass panes of his building were shattered due to the explosions.

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