Staff Reporter

Maintenance staff cut the conveyor belt on both sides to avoid spreading of fire

Tuticorin: A six-km long conveyor belt situated within Tuticorin Port Trust limit, which carries coal from the Coal Jetty in the port to Tuticorin Thermal Power Station caught fire on Wednesday.

Official sources said the fire was first noticed on the conveyor belt about 2.5 kms from the Coal Jetty at 2 p.m., by some maintenance staff working near it.

Immediately, they alerted the `fire and safety unit' functioning under the TPT as well as TTPS. Three water tenders, two from TTPS and one from TPT, arrived at the spot and put out the fire within 30 minutes.

In the mean time, maintenance staff had cut the conveyor belt on both sides to avoid fire spreading through the belt. Thus, only 75 metres of belt were damaged.

According to TTPS sources, the damage could be to the tune of Rs 1 to 1.5 lakhs and the reason was yet to be ascertained.

"Fortunately, the belt was empty after a load of coal was transported from the port to TTPS in the morning, which reduced the damage," sources added.

The TTPS officials said damage to the belt would be repaired within three days, before the next container vessel carrying coal arrives here on February 13.

An investigation was launched into the incident by the TPT and TTPS, sources said.