Special Correspondent

Thanjavur: A disaster control management plan mock fire drill was conducted to test the emergency preparedness in case of LPG accident at the LPG Bottling plant of Bharath Petroleum Corporation Ltd at South Palayapatti village near Sengipatti, 25 kms from here on Wednesday.

The scenario was that during LPG filling, the filling hose develops leak and subsequently there was a fire. Workers and officers demonstrated how to put off the fire, how to take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of fire, dealing with causalities, communication, use of external agencies in putting off fire, using emergency exits, security etc.

Clear cut roles

C. Vijayaraj Kumar, Thanjavur district collector who saw the mock drill later in a review said that in plants and factories like these accidents do not happen but caused. This message should be drilled in the minds of the workers to prevent carelessness and accidents. The mock drill is to check whether the system is in place. Everyone should have role clarity as what he should do when the mishap occurs.

R. Sidharthan, Inspector of Factories said that the probability of accident is only one in four hundred years in plants like this. K. Arul, Deputy Chief Inspector of Factories, said that purpose of on site emergency plan like this is to ensure protection and security to people. Property loss should be minimised and rescue should be done within the minimum possible time. Immediate treatment should be provided to the affected.

The network

LPG has the potential to expand three hundred times and hence can cause havoc through fire balls. M.S. Jayaram, Territory Manager, BPCL said that the plant received bulk from refineries and import locations through tank trucks, stored in bullets and then filled into LPG cylinders.

The cylinders are distributed to 3.5 lakh customers through a network of distributors situated in 12 districts of Tamil Nadu and two territories of Puducherry.

R. Ramanujam, Deputy Manager, Operations (LPG), Gopalakrishnan, Pollution control board engineer, Sumathi from Ishwarya gas agencies, representatives from other gas agencies participated in the event.