Indian firefighters struggle with oil depot blaze
INDIA: Firefighters in northern India struggled Friday to
douse a gigantic blaze burning for more than 12 hours at a major oil
depot, where at last three people were killed and scores injured.
After burning throughout the night, the Indian Oil Corp. facility on
the outskirts of Jaipur in the desert state of Rajasthan was still
engulfed by huge flames and black smoke.
Indian Oil Minister Murli Deora told reporters that there was little
the firefighters could do but try to contain the blaze, suspected to
have been caused by a leak on a pipeline.
“You cannot stop the fire. All the fuel in there has to burn out
before we can reach there... when there is such a huge fire all safety
measures prove inadequate,” he said.
Jaipur’s chief civil administrator, Kiran Soni Gupta, said three
people had died in the blaze that caused emergency service officials to
evacuate thousands of people living nearby.
At least 80 people were admitted to local hospitals with burn
injuries, Gupta added. The Press Trust of India reported five killed and
150 injured in the fire, which engulfed four oil storage units at the
depot covering an area of several square kilometres (miles).
Rajasthan police chief Harish Meena told reporters late Thursday that
an “oil leak in a pipeline” appeared to have been the cause.
Local residents reported hearing a large explosion as the blaze broke
out. JAIPUR, Friday, AFP