A massive fire that broke out in the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) depot in the Sitapura Industrial Area on the outskirts of the Rajasthan capital on Thursday night claimed at least four lives. More than 150 persons are being treated in various hospitals in the city for burn and splinter injuries.
Several explosions shook the industrial area — run by the Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation — while people fled in panic. A PTI report said a leak in the pipeline was suspected to have caused the fire that broke out around 7.30 p.m. By 9 p.m. the whole area was blocked and residents from nearby colonies were removed to safety.
The injuries were burns caused by the fire or cuts from window panes that shattered in the explosions.
The number of casualties varied. Authorities in the Sawai Man Singh Medical College hospital confirmed four deaths, while unconfirmed reports put the death toll at eight. Over 150 were injured.
The fire continued to rage even five hours after the first accident, as over two dozen fire tenders battled the flames that engulfed the entire area. The IOC has 11 storage tanks in the depot. When the fire broke out, a tanker was refuelling on the premises.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is personally supervising the rescue and relief operations. He spoke to Union Petroleum Minister Murli Deora about the accident.
Mr. Deora is scheduled to reach Jaipur on Friday with a team of officers and experts.