IOC fire: 3 dead, one missing


Three people were killed and one person has been reported missing in the fire accident at IOC at Hazira in Surat on Saturday noon. The financial loss in the incident has been estimated to be Rs 45 crore.

The fire and emergency teams of Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC), which reached the accident spot first, found the two big water tankers inside the IOC plant empty. Apparently, the water sprinklers did not work due to this. The fire and rescue team had to bring water from different nearby companies like ONGC, ESSAR, Reliance, Adani to refill the tanks.

Sources said at the time of the incident, four welders were at working on the petrol storage tank number 4 that had 5,027 kilolitre of fuel. The reason of the blast is unknown. The cap of tank along with welders were thrown off it to the air by the blast.

The deceased have been identified as Jalandar Chaudhary,35, a native of Bihar, Raul Nagar, 20, native of Jaunpur in UP, and Devendra Rajaram Giri, 34, resident of Bajva in Vadodara. The missing welder is Ravi Swai,23, from Orissa. The bodies of the dead have been sent to New Civil Hospital for autopsy.

Over 46 fire tenders and 70 water tankers were involved in fire fighting. Chief Fire Officer of SMC, Pankaj Patel, said water had to be brought to IOC and poured into the water storage tanks. "Half of the firemen were involved in bringing water from nearby companies. The process continued the whole night. We sprinkled foams and water continuously on the tank number 4 and prevented it from spreading to tank number 5 and 3," he said.

Late on Saturday night, the district administration swung into action and technical experts from other multinational companies in Hazira also turned up at the accident spot. The Surat police rushed to arrived and was involved in maintaining the law and order. Several people including family members of labourers working in IOC had gathered outside the main gate.

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