Deora sets up Committee to probe IOC fire

Deora sets up Committee to probe IOC fire

Petroleum Minister Murli Deora meets the victims of the Sitapura IOC Depot fire being treated at SMS Hospital in Jaipur on Friday. PTI

The blaze broke out in the depot in the Sitapura industrial area, about 20 km from the Jaipur city centre, at 7.15 pm. on Thursday evening. Officials said nine people could have been killed and nearly 150 injured.   

As a precautionary measure, the Indian railways has diverted a couple of trains running on the Jaipur-Sawai Madhopur sector.

According to trade estimates, over Rs.500 crore worth of damage has been incurred because of the fire.
While a team led by Indian Oil marketing head D.C. Dagga reached the spot Thursday night, the minister accompanied by Indian Oil chairman Sarthak Behuria rushed early Friday morning to inspect the firefighting and rescue efforts. The IOC chairman has been instructed to personally oversee the operations.

The minister was informed that while the fire has been contained to the installation area, it will only burn out after the fuel stocks finishes.

Indian Oil has rushed firefighting teams from Delhi, Panipat and Mathura, with ONGC sending a support team from Hazira.

According to the ministry, while three persons are confirmed dead, six employees of Indian Oil are still missing. Forty persons were injured and are being treated at the Sawai  Man Singh Hospital in Jaipur.
Indian Oil will give an ex-gratia payment of Rs.10 lakh to the  next of kin of each employee killed in the blaze, Rs.2 lakh for each of those seriously injured and Rs.1 lakh for those with minor injuries. In addition, the state government has already announced Rs.2 lakh for the families of those who died and Rs.1 lakh for the seriously injured.

Deora also announced that the a high-level enquiry committee has been set up, to be headed by the former chairman and managing director of Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd M.B. Lal. It will also include the executive director of Oil Industry Safety Directorate as member secretary, Rajasthan government's principal secretary for mining and petroleum Govind Sharma and two experts from the oil industry.
The committee has been given six weeks to submit a report to the petroleum ministry.

The minister also met Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and assured him that supply of petroleum products will not be affected by the accident.

"This will be done by working additional shifts and also working on Sundays," a ministry statement said, quoting the minister.

Hindustan Petroleum, which has recently commissioned a petroleum product terminal at Bagru, near Jaipur on its Mudra-Delhi product pipeline, will take care of the requirements of the products in the area along with other nearby oil depots.