BPCL Kochi Refinery is yet to come out with an explanation on the fire that broke out at Kadavanthra in the city while cutting a portion of a defunct fuel pipeline more than a week ago. Though a three-member in-house team of experts had been probing the incident, the report has not yet been filed, according to a senior official of the company.
The official said the fire occurred when a sample portion of the old pipeline was being cut off in a bid to ascertain the quality of the pipe. The work was being carried out by a contractor. Three workers were injured in the incident. One of the workers who suffered over 50 per cent burns was admitted to hospital. The person is recovering, the official said. The report would be finalised only after taking the version of the hospitalised worker and the doctors had advised to wait till his condition improved, the official said.
The company official maintained that the fuel was being transported through a new pipeline system and the old pipeline was not in use for about two years. The work was intended to ascertain the quality of the pipes for being utilised for certain other purposes.
The fire was reportedly caused by a spark from a cracker which was burst on the night of the Deepavali festival, in the nearby residential area.
The incident has brought issues of safety on the lives of people living close to the pipelines to the fore. The fuel carrying pipelines criss-cross the city at residential areas and various installations.
Earlier, fire accidents involving LPG tankers had caused agony among the people and doubts had been raised as to the safety measures followed by the handling agencies.