A devastating fire broke out on Monday near the Indian Oil Corporation’s Guwahati refinery, official sources said.

Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner Prateek Hajela said the fire broke out around 6 am near the Carbon Gate of the refinery. Several houses were gutted though there was no report of any casualty or injury, he said.

Seven fire tenders were pressed into service to control the fire which was finally contained after two hours though thick smoke still enveloped the area.

The fire was suspected to have been caused by a spark near a leaking crude oil-carrying pipeline, Hajela said. Refinery authorities, however, refused to ascertain the cause of the fire. Locals also alleged that it was caused by a spark in the effluents released by the refinery in the bypass drain.

The exact loss due to the fire was yet to be ascertained though it may be to the tune of several lakhs of rupees, sources said.

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