Thick plumes of smoke engulfed the Royapuram area in north Chennai on Monday when a fire broke out from one of the oil storage tankers located amid residential colonies prompting authorities to evacuate several residents.
There were no casualties, Fire and Chennai Port officials said.
Fire and Port officials are battling hard to douse the fire and various methods including foam mixture are being used to contain the blaze raging for over three hours.
Noting that the cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained, a fire official said over 10 fire engines and other extinguishers have been pressed into service.
Due to the presence of the fuel, the blaze is expected to rage for some more time, a fire official said.
Officials suspect that welding works undertaken near the tanker by a third party provider could have been the cause of fire. As the incident triggered panic waves among residents, several were evacuated, they said.
North Chennai is located adjacent to Chennai Port and Ennore Harbour.
Port sources said 'sludge oil' had been stored in the 30-year-old storage tank. It had been given to a third party for cleaning around 1500 hrs on Monday when the incident occurred, an official said.