A major fire continues to rage at a bio-diesel manufacturing unit in Visakhapatnam Special Economic Zone (VSEZ) after breaking out on Tuesday evening, despite efforts to control it, officials said.
Visakhapatnam district collector N Yuvaraj, who was at the accident site, said that nearly 40 fire fighting engines from the Navy, Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, and Port Trust were trying to douse the flames that erupted at the Bioxmax Fuels Ltd company premises in Duvvada at around 7.30 pm on Tuesday.
No casualties have been reported so far, he said, as the blaze occurred in the storage area where nobody was present in close proximity.
Biomax Fuels Ltd has a manufacturing capacity of five lakh tonnes of bio-diesel from multi-feedstock at VSEZ.
Of 18 storage tanks, 12 caught fire and will continue to burn until the oil is depleted completely, he said. The fire is expected to be brought under control by Wednesday evening. Authorities are taking steps to avoid the fire from spreading to the remaining six tanks.
It is still unclear what started the fire, district fire officer J M Rao said, adding that the fire tenders were unable to reach the storage area as the flames rapidly spread from one tank to another within minutes.
Meanwhile, the Eastern Naval Command in a statement said that nine fire tenders of Indian Navy were deployed at the Biomax company to douse the flames.
“On getting news from the state administration, the Eastern Naval Command launched two aircraft for aerial reconnaissance and assessment of the extent of fire. Navy’s Quick Reaction Team (QRT) and an ambulance with medical team were rushed to the site of the fire accident along with the fire tenders,” it said.
Indian Navy here since last night, have deployed 15 fire tenders: Rajesh Shetty,Navy on Biomax Fuels Ltd fire(Vizag) pic.twitter.com/STEx86wsRD— ANI (@ANI_news) April 27, 2016
Standby arrangements have been made at the Naval hospital, INHS Kalyani, for providing assistance in case of medical emergency, it said.
Aside from replenishing fire tenders, the navy is also keeping additional fire tenders on stand by.