With the recovery of the charred bodies of two more victims from the burning Indian Oil Corporation depot in the Sitapura Industrial Area near here on Sunday, the death toll has gone up to 10. The fire continued to rage in five of the 11 vertical fuel storage tanks for the fourth consecutive day.
The bodies are believed to be those of missing IOC employees.
IOC authorities expect the inferno to die out in another 24-48 hours with most of the petrol, diesel and kerosene stockpiled in the tanks having been exhausted in the fire.
Meanwhile, residents in the Sitapura Industrial Area and Pratap Nagar residential colony complained of breathing problems and itching in the eyes caused by smoke billowing from the burning tanks. Thousands of residents in a five-km radius of the site have been evacuated.
IOC fire: two panels to assess damage
Concerned at the raging fire at the Indian Oil Corporation depot at the Sitapura Industrial Area near here, the Rajasthan government has appointed two committees to assess the damage caused to industrial units and nearby villages. One of the committees will assess the damage caused by the fire to different units in terms of building, plant, machinery and raw materials and submit its report in seven days.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who visited the depot site on Saturday evening, said the recommendations of the committees would be taken into account while preparing new master plans for the cities.
“The depots stockpiling petrol and inflammable material have to be far away from the residential localities. Commercial activities in the residential areas are a serious cause for concern.”
State Principal Home Secretary Pradeep Sen has also given instructions for ensuring security of the terminals of the Hindustan Petroleum and the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited as well as the liquefied petroleum gas plant of the Indane situated in the Sitapura Industrial Area.
Firemen on Sunday extinguished the flames spreading to the roof of a private electronic and instruments company located 200 metres from the boundary wall of the IOC storage facility.
Court notice on PIL
Meanwhile, the Rajasthan High Court has issued a show-cause notice to the State government on a public interest litigation petition seeking its reply on the efforts being made to extinguish the fire.