Fire breaks out at BPCL refinery, 43 hurt

Fire breaks out at BPCL refinery, 43 hurt

A series of explosions and a resultant fire was reported from a refinery plant of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) plant at Chembur in eastern suburbs of Mumbai. Picture courtesy @Laxmantweetsss

Forty-three people sustained injuries following a massive fire and a series of explosions in one of the plants of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) refinery complex at Mahul in Chembur in Mumbai on Wednesday.

The explosion could be heard from quite a distance away and shook some of the dwellings within a 2 km radius. 

Fire and thick black smoke could be seen billowing out of the plant from quite a distance away. 

The BPCL and Mumbai Police are investigating the cause behind the fire and explosion. However, no primary cause has been assigned so far behind the incident.

“Everything shook, it was like a major explosion, we could feel everything shattering,” said Rafique Usman, a resident of the Mahul village.

According to BPCL, the fire started at 2.45 pm. “The fire was in the compressor shed of the hydrocracker plant,” BPCL officials said. 

“We heard a loud noise and our office shook, thereafter we came to know of the fire and explosion,” said an employee of the BPCL as he was hurried out of the main gate of the refinery complex.

According to the Mumbai Police, 43 people were injured in the industrial mishap.

“They were first rushed to the BPCL First Aid Centre, where 22 were allowed to go home. The rest 21 were shifted to the Inlax Hospital and they are being treated for fracture and lacerated wounds. One of them is critical and is admitted to the ICU,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone IV) Shahaji Umap.

Putting out the fire was very tough. “Due to tremendous heat and build up pressure, firefighting was initially carried out from a safe distance and using fixed monitors,” Chief Fire Officer Prabhat Rahangdale said.

More than two dozen fire tenders and jumbo tankers were rushed. Besides the fire fighting team of BPCL and Mumbai Fire Brigade, teams were rushed from the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mazagon Dock Ltd were rushed to the BPCL facility.

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