- The fire broke out after several explosions were heard
- The refinery is at Mahul Road in Chembur area of Mumbai
- There were no reports of any injury, officials said
At least 45 people were injured in a massive fire that broke out at state-owned Bharat Petroleum's refinery in Mumbai today afternoon. Among those injured one person is stated to be critical.
The fire broke out at around 3 pm after several explosions were heard, a fire brigade official said. The plant is located at Mahul road in Chembur area.
According to locals and eyewitnesses, the fire, which was followed by a loud explosion, with thick black smoke emanating, was visible from several kms away, while the blast was heard in places as far as Powai and Sion.
A company spokesperson said that the fire erupted in the compressor shed of a hydrocracker plant within the plant complex after a leakage of an oil-water mixture in an adjoining plant. "The affected plant has been shut down, though other operations in the complex are functioning normally," the spokesperson told news agency IANS.
Two dozen fire brigade engines and five jumbo tankers were battling to fight flames. Firefighting engines were also sent by the BMC, HPCL, BARC, RCF and MDL to help combat the conflagration which was brought under control by late evening.
The company said that 20 of the injured persons were treated by the BPCL Medical Centre and allowed to go while the rest were shifted to Inlaks Hospital for further treatment.
At least four were under observation by the medical teams and the condition of one was described as serious by the police. A majority have suffered fractures or lacerations following the blast.
The fire is confined to the hydrocracker plant, Reuters quoted Mumbai fire chief PS Rahangdale as saying. He added that two hose lines of fire engines and two hose lines of fixed firefighting installations were in operation.
This is second major incident involving a Bharat Petroleum establishment in the past 10 months in the Mumbai region.
Last year, on October 7, a lightning strike had caused a major fire in a a massive oil storage tank on Butcher Island, off Mumbai shore, which was extinguished after four days.
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