Fire at IOCL’s Paradip refinery under control, no casualties


PARADIP: A major fire on Saturday broke out in the Paradip refinery plant of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) scheduled to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 7.

PARADIP: A major fire on Saturday broke out in the Paradip refinery plant of Indian Oil scheduled to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 7. Sources said fire engulfed at AV unit of the refinery plant while 4 fire tenders have been pressed into service to douse the fire. The cause of fire is yet to be ascertained. Union Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday visited the plant and reviewed the preparation for Prime Minister’s visit.Sources said fire engulfed at Atmospheric and Vacuum Distillation Unit (AVU) of the refinery plant while seven fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the fire.

A senior official of IOCL said that the tender fire official successfully extinguished the fire.

“The fire is totally under control, and there was no loss of life. No damage occurred due to the fire,” said the official.

He said a thorough inquiry would be carried out to ascertain the cause behind the incident.

The fire had broken out near the number one gate of the plant.

The fire broke out just a week before the visit of Prime Minister raising alarm over the inauguration of the 15 MMTPA plant at Paradip.

With the fire is under control, the officials have heaved a sigh of relief.

The fire was reported from the newly-constructed AVU unit at about 6.30 pm and is believed to have been caused by the sparks flying from a drilling machine.

As soon as the news spread, employees and labourers left the site apprehending spread of flames to other parts of the plant.

Jagatsinghpur Collector Bijay Ketan Upadhyay said it a minor fire and had been controlled. He said there is no cause for panic as seven fire tenders from different industries have been pressed into service.

Crude processing had been started from the AVU unit since April last year and products like LPG, Naphtha, Kerosene, Gas, Oil, RCO were being produced.

The mishap may have occurred due to the neglect of normal safety procedures, the absence of leak-stopping devices and insufficient understanding of hazards and risks and consequences, alleged an employee working on the premises.

On Friday, Upadhyay had directed IOCL authorities to shut down all the operational activities of the plant on next Sunday when Prime Minister Modi will officially unveil the facility. The direction, he said, was issued keeping in view safety and security issues.

Before the incident, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan reviewed the progress ahead of Modi’s visit and also interacted with IOCL officials to take stock of the situation.