Three people were killed in the major fire in storage facility of the
Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) in Hazira, near Surat, which was contained
after a 21-hour operation by the fire brigade team.
"Bodies of two people have been recovered from near the tank number 4, which caught fire yesterday," Surat District Collector Jayprakash Shivhare told PTI adding, they are yet to be identified.
The government has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the families of the victims.
"We were able to contain the fire after a massive operation going on for the last 21 hours," he said.
Union Oil Minister Veerappa Moily surveyed the site today. He said that an estimated loss of about Rs 45 crore has been incurred by the agency. Though the reason behind the tragedy is yet to be ascertained, Mr Moily assured that strict action will be taken if it is found that human error caused the inferno.
The IOC facility at Hazira has nine tanks located nearby each other. The tank number four had almost 5,000 kilolitre of petrol, half of its capacity, when it caught fire.
"Fire brigade personnel did a commendable job by restricting the fire to one tank only, in an operation which started last afternoon," Mr Shivhare said.
"The petrol in the tank number four has almost burnt out by now, while we have managed to ensure that fire does not spread to other tanks by constantly spraying water and foam on them to keep them cool," he added.
This is the second major fire at IOC storage depots since 2009. On October 29, 2009, a fire broke out at its Jaipur terminal which was blamed on non-observance of normal safety procedures. The Jaipur depot fire raged for 11 days, killed 11 people and resulted in losses worth Rs 280 crore.
"We had called all the resources at our disposal. The fire brigade teams from all the big cities and nearby small towns of Gujarat were called in. Fire tenders of privates companies were also called," he said.
IOC has ordered an internal inquiry to find out the cause of fire.(With inputs from PTI)