VIJAYAWADA: The recent explosion that took place in the GAIL gas pipeline at Nagaram in East Godavari district, which took 21 lives, has forced the State government to grant permission for purchasing foam tenders to effectively deal with fire accidents in industries.

Following the government’s nod, the A.P. Fire Services Department has called for tenders for buying at least three foam tenders each costing Rs.38 lakh. Currently, fabrication works are on and within five months, the department will be utilising the new vehicles. These vehicles will be allotted to Kakinada, Vijayawada and Tirupati fire stations after completing the fabrication works.

“We are taking up fabrication works within the specifications prescribed by Central Government,” a senior official said. These vehicles are in addition to two foam tenders allotted to Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada.

Normal water tenders cannot be used for extinguishing fire in gas and oil industries where special vehicles equipped with foam and dry chemical powder are necessary to deal with fire. “Oil is lighter than water. If water is used to extinguish fire in an oil unit, it goes down and oil comes up making it difficult for fire-fighters to control the blaze. We have to therefore use foam or dry chemical powders to put out the flames,” the officials explained.

He said as many as 4,500 litres of water and 600 litres of foam can be stored in a vehicle. Usage of these tenders during fire accidents will help in putting out the flames in about an hour. A.P. Fire Services Director-General N. Sambasiva Rao confirmed that the department was acquiring three new foam tenders to tackle industrial fire.

(EOM)

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