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IOC fuel tanks still on fire, locals bear the brunt

Source: PTI
November 02, 2009 13:20 IST
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Fire continued to rage in two of the 11 Indian Oil Corporation fuel storage tanks near Jaipur on Monday even as a body was dug out of the debris and another man injured in the inferno succumbed to injuries, taking the toll in the blaze to 12.

Over 50 locals residing in the vicinity of the fuel depot at Sitapura, 20 km from Jaipur, have reported to various hospitals complaining of itching, eye burning, suffocation and skin allergies due to the fire which broke out on Thursday.

Chief Fire Officer Ishwarlal Jat said the blaze in the two remaining petrol tanks has reduced considerably but it will probably take one more day for it to completely die down.

Efforts would be made to douse the fire in remaining two tanks by fire fighters, he said.

On Sunday night, there was a deafening blast at the inferno site as lids of tanks broke up in pieces due to pressure, Jat said.

Rescue teams were inspecting the area near the tanks to find out any body in the rubble.

An IOC driver Jagdish, who was brought to a hospital on the first day of the fire with severe burn injuries, died on Sunday night, an official said, adding that the body was handed over to relatives after post mortem.

During debris-clearing operation in the premises of a private company, Genus Overseas, hit by the fire, rescuers recovered the body of a man identified as Kishan Singh Dhakar. With this, the death toll in the fire has risen to 12, IGP Jaipur range, B L Soni said.

Residents have, meanwhile, collected samples of black matter descending on the ground from the thick black smoke emanating from the fuel containers. It may contain solidified carbon dioxide mixed with sulphur and other hydrocarbons, the official said.

Carcasses of many birds have also been found in the area.

Jaipur Collector Kuldeep Ranka said a technical committee has been constituted to assess the damage caused due to the fire and also find out the future risks surrounding such volatile industries including fuel companies.

Rail and road traffic continued to be disrupted in the area with 12 trains passing through Jaipur-Swaimadhopur rail sections diverted through other routes and 95 buses diverted on the Jaipur-Kota highway.

Ranka said an over bridge near the inferno site would be opened for transport only after getting clearance from the Jaipur Development Authority experts.

Electricity would be restored in the danger zone of one km after examining safety measures and all precautions.

Over ten engineering, medical and technical education colleges would be opened after physical and technical verification of buildings, which suffered severe damage due to the fire.

The district administration said people can open their shops and offices on Monday in an area one km away from the ire site and public transportation in the area would be restored by Tuesday.

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