The sprinkler system used by Indian Oil Corporation’s LPG Bottling Plant at Perundurai near here to extinguish ‘fire’ at one of its bays during an emergency drill on Wednesday, came in for praise by statutory authorities.

Within 10 minutes of the alarm being sounded, the ‘fire’ (smoke) emanating from an array of parked tanker lorries was put out in a joint action by rapid response teams of the IOC and the Fire and Rescue Service personnel.

Within the duration, the ‘injured’ persons were also evacuated in a couple of ambulances that arrived within a few minutes in maximum speed, with their sirens sounding.

Senior Plant Manager R. Balasubramaniam attributed the real-time impact of the emergency operation to human-machine coordination.

There was a realisation that actions must be very quick without leaving room for panic, he said.

It was in consideration of safety as foremost importance that the IOC was spending two-thirds of its profits for protective infrastructure, said Mr. Balasubramaniam.

The IOC employees in learning mode were oriented on enlarging their focus at times when real emergency situations arise, by the Joint Director of Industrial Safety and Health G. Muralidharan and Divisional Fire Officer T. Mathialagan.

Mr. Muralidharan advised the security personnel to be doubly sure about the headcount so that no individual caught in the fire is left out in the rescue operation.

Mr. Muralidharan suggested a few measures to make the operation more effective.

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