Major fire breaks out at IOCís Hazira terminal, no casualty

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A major fire broke out at the Indian Oil Company (IOC) terminal at Hazira in Surat Saturday afternoon. No casualty were reported and fire fighters were engaged in putting off the fire at the time of going to press.

The cause of the fire was not known immediately. Locals said there was a powerful explosion before the fire broke out. The fire, which started from a single storage tank, spread to one more storage tank.

Sources said the fire broke out in petrol storage tank no. 4 having capacity of 70 lakh litres of petrol. There are around nine tanks at the IOC terminal out of which three tanks are of petrol, three of diesel and three of kerosene. Fuel is supplied to different parts of the state from this terminal.

Over 100 fire fighters from Surat, Valsad, Navsari, Vapi, Ankleshwar, Bharuch, Vadodara, Ahmedabad and other districts were involved in extinguishing work and protecting other tanks from the fire.

Surat District Collector Jayprakash Shivhare and Municipal Commissioner M K Das and higher police officials also rushed to the IOC terminal. The public were stopped to enter the premises and entire company as well as its residential premises were vacated by the district administration. Disaster management teams of Kribhco, ESSAR, NTPC, ONGC and other companies also have rushed to IOC to assist in carrying out extinguishing work.

"The fire due to some unknown reason broke out in petrol storage tank no. 4. Hundreds of fire fighters have been deployed to control it and to stop it spreading to other tanks. We are using all possible efforts to stop spreading the fire," the Collector said.

The fire spread to another petrol storage tank later in the afternoon. "A high-level team has been constituted to investigate the cause of the fire but our first priority is to put out the fire... efforts are on at war footing," said an IOC official. A senior team from Mumbai office too are rushing to the site of accident.

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