A little caution by the petrol pump authority could have prevented the fire which broke out at the Indian Oil petrol pump in Munirka on Monday night.
Three persons, including a couple, faced burn injuries in the fire that lasted for over six hours.
Police have booked officials of Indian Oil and the company carrying out repairs for negligence. "There was leakage in the underground LPG tank. The petrol pump authority was aware of this, and had called a company to repair it. Ideally, they should have shut down the pump while carrying out the repairs," said a senior police officer, who did not want to be named.
The injured are identified as Mohammad Javed, who works at the petrol pump, and Jolly and CM Mathew.
"Mathew and his wife had come to the pump to get gas filled. While they were checking the air pressure in their vehicle, they noticed a spark from the underground fuel tank. That is when their car caught fire," the officer added.
Javed, who faced 90% burn injuries, is in the ICU at Safdarjung hospital while the Mathew couple were discharged after first aid.
The fire, which broke out at 8.25pm, could be brought under control only after midnight. Police said that since it was an underground tank, there was a possibility of the fire spreading to nearby areas and therefore people living in nearby slums were asked to vacate.
"At around 8:30pm, we were told of the fire and asked to vacate. We shifted under the Munirka flyover and returned in the morning," said Kiran, a resident of the slum.
"Even the adjacent petrol pump was closed as a precautionary measure. An enquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of fire," the officer further said.
Fire department officials said the operation was planned in a way to ensure the safety of everyone nearby.
Indian Oil official said they had ordered an enquiry to check whether all precautionary measures were taken at the time of cleaning the tank.