Fire rages in Indian Oil depot, nine dead | india | Hindustan Times
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Fire rages in Indian Oil depot, nine dead

The fire at the Indian Oil depot here continued to rage Friday morning, a day after it broke out, with six people still trapped and officials saying nine people could have been killed and nearly 150 injured.

india Updated: Oct 30, 2009 11:21 IST

The fire at the Indian Oil depot here continued to rage Friday morning, a day after it broke out, with six people still trapped and officials saying nine people could have been killed and nearly 150 injured.

The blaze, which broke out at 7.15 p.m. following a minor earthquake, has engulfed the nearby Agro food centre and a power grid. The fire, at the Sitapur industrial area near Jaipur, was of great intensity and the flames could be seen from a distance of over 15 km.

Oil and Petroleum Minister Murli Deora visited the injured at the government-run Sawai Man Singh Hospital here and said it would be another day or two before the blaze could be brought under control.

Deora added that six workers of the Indian Oil depot were still trapped and that their chances of survival were bleak.

"There is no option but to let the fuel burn. It will take a day or two before the fire could be brought under control," Deora told reporters here.

The depot had 7,000 kilolitres of petrol, 24,000 kilolitres of diesel and 1,000 kilo litres of kerosene.

Two truckloads of foam have been brought from a Mathura refinery to extinguish the fire. However, according to officials it could only be put to use when the fuel burns itself.

The district collector has prohibited the entry of anybody within a five kilometre radius of the area under fire. The Jaipur-Kota highway has been closed down for vehicles and about 20 trains scheduled to pass through the nearby railway line have been affected. Nearby villages have also been vacated.

Though the cause of the fire was not known, eyewitnesses said the fire broke out after gas leaked from one of the tanks. The Indian Oil depot has 11 huge tanks, and reports said that all of them caught fire.

A factory near the Indian Oil depot has been burnt to cinders, an official said.

People living in nearby areas heard loud explosions when the fire broke out. Many have reported breathing problems and itching in the eyes.

"I have been facing breathing problems since last night," said Ramesh Kumar.

Doctors here have advised people not to go near the fire site as it could lead to health problems.

The Rajasthan government has announced Rs.200, 000 as compensation to the next of the kin of those who were killed in the fire and Rs.100,000 to the seriously injured. Rs.50,000 will be given to those who suffered "normal" injuries.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said all private hospitals have been asked to treat the injured and that the government would pay for their treatment.