Centre calls for probe in Wadala fire

  • Chetna Yerunkar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jun 16, 2015 18:51 IST

After the Union shipping ministry on Monday called for a probe in the Wadala fire — the cause of which is still unknown — a team of Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD) is set to conduct a detailed investigation in the case and audit pipelines in the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) area.

The MbPT authorities have said that even a static flash owing to a leakage can cause a fire. They have also claimed that thefts could be the reason for the leakage, and that the issue was not addressed even after they registered several police complaints.

“The OISD will investigate the cause of the fire and will submit a report to the shipping ministry. They were here to carry out an audit of the pipelines on the day of the disaster and hence, have been also been roped in for the probe by the Union ministry,” said Yashodhan Wanage, deputy chairman of MbPT.

“We had made several complaints on fuel thefts. However, the exact cause of fire will only be known after the report is finished,” Wanage added.

Following the fire that broke out at Wadala in an oil pipeline, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has asked the MbPT to fix leakages across all pipelines.

Further, the civic body has asked the MbPT to submit a status report on the pipelines within a month. The report will be studied by civic chief Ajoy Mehta.

“I have asked f or a status report in a month and to increase monitoring to avoid any such incident in the future. The authorities have assured us that they will cooperate with us,” said Mehta.

The BMC officials claimed that it is the MbPT’s responsibility to patrol and monitor the pipelines and also carry out timely repairs of damaged pipelines.

The fire that broke out at 6.46pm on Saturday on the MbPT road near Castrol company, was brought under control only on Sunday around 7.30am, after a 13-hour critical fire- fighting operation. The civic body used more than 25,000 litres of foam to douse the flames.

The BMC has now appealed to all the slum dwellers to not use any flammable object, which could lead to a fire again.

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