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Updated: October 31, 2009 00:04 IST

IOC fuel depot fire still raging

Mohammed Iqbal
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Dense smoke billows out of the IOC depot at Sitapura near Jaipur on Friday. A massive fire broke out at the depot on Thursday evening. Photo: PTI
PTI Dense smoke billows out of the IOC depot at Sitapura near Jaipur on Friday. A massive fire broke out at the depot on Thursday evening. Photo: PTI

The fire that swept through the Indian Oil Corporation fuel depot in the Sitapura Industrial Area near here continued to rage for the second day on Friday.

Black clouds of smoke billowing from the vertical petrol, diesel and kerosene tanks could be seen from a distance of 10 km.

Four persons were dead and about 200 injured.

Petroleum Minister Murli Deora, who flew in here, said nothing much could be done to douse the 40-metre high flames and the fire would “die down on its own when the entire fuel burns up.”

The fire, suspected to have started after a leak in one of the valves at the fuel storage and distribution terminal at 7.30 p.m. on Thursday, was raging in five of the 13 tanks.

Mr. Deora told journalists that the fire tenders could not go anywhere near the burning tanks until the petrol and diesel stockpiled there went up in flames. The fire is stated to have caused the IOC a Rs. 300-crore loss.

It was officially confirmed that four deaths occurred and all the victims were stated to be IOC employees.

A charred body lying near one of the burning tanks could not be removed. Six IOC employees are missing.

Ex gratia announced

Mr. Deora announced an ex gratia of Rs. 10 lakh to the next of kin of each of those killed, Rs. 2 lakh each to those seriously injured and Rs.1 lakh each to those who sustained minor injuries. This would be in addition to the financial assistance announced by the State government.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot asked private hospitals in Jaipur to treat the injured free of cost and said the government would reimburse them.

Apart from the human casualties, the massive fire destroyed the property of more than 30 industrial units in the Sitapura Industrial Area.

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