R. Madina of Pudunagar A block in Vyasarpadi termed Tuesday morning ‘frantic.' The reason – the homemaker and hundreds of other residents, including children in the locality, had to run for their lives following a scare that a fuel station on fire nearby was going to explode.

“This is the fifth time that there is a fire in the petrol bunk. We are scared and want the bunk to be shifted,” said Ms. Madina, who along with other residents, staged a road roko outside Prema Service Station, an IOC fuel station on MKB Nagar Main Road in Vyasarpadi. They demanded its immediate closure.

Police said, a dispensing unit in the bunk which also has an auto LPG dispensing facility, caught fire at 7 a.m. “Some workers shouted out to all residents to flee. A chemical stench emanated, and woman, children and elders from Pudunagar A block and Salaima Nagar located behind the bunk, ran to safety,” said K. Velavan, a resident.

However, the staff at the fuel station said Tuesday's fire was the first accident and promised that safety measures will be taken. “Earlier in two cases, an auto and an omni van carrying chemical substances caught fire outside the bunk,” said a petrol bunk staff, on condition of anonymity. IOC officials were not available for comment.

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Petlee PeterJune 28, 2012

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