The firefighters have finally managed to douse the blaze at Bikaner oil refinery after mega operations that ran for more than five hours. The fire that started at around 2 am in the early morning hours and soon spread to other parts of the refinery. The incident took place in Khara Industrial Area of. The administration jumped into action and evacuated the entire industrial area. All fire tenders in Bikaner were rushed to the spot to douse the blaze. Police and the other officials launched a joint operation to make sure that there was minimum damage. No casualty was reported in the blaze. After an overnight operation that ran for five hours, the firefighters managed to douse the blaze.
Last month, a massive fire had broken out at an oil plant in Gujarat’s Banaskantha. Initial estimate suggested that property worth Rs 25 crore was gutted in the blaze. The blaze brings back the memories of the 2018 incident in Mumbai where over 40 people were injured at Bharat Petroleum’s refinery. The incident took place at the public sector oil firm's plant on the Mahul Road in Chembur area of East Mumbai around August 9 last year.
After preliminary treatment at the BPCL's first aid centre, 22 of them were allowed to go home, while others were shifted to a nearby hospital in Chembur. Nine fire tenders, two foam tenders and two jumbo tankers were pressed into service to douse the blaze. Along with the Fire Brigade, the refinery's own fire-fighting team, HPCL, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, RCF and Mazgaon Dock fire brigades were also engaged, an official of the Disaster Control Room of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said.
The blaze also sparked protests by the locals living in the vicinity, shouting slogans and demanding that they be relocated from the area. Hundreds of families displaced for various government projects or due to slum demolitions have been resettled in Mahul village. "Had the boiler exploded near our building, we would have been reduced to ashes," Puja Waghmare, a local resident had said after the blaze.
In April 2018, one person was killed after minor leakage in the motor spirit plant led to an explosion in the Numaligarh Refinery. In October last year, a lightning strike had caused a major fire in an oil storage tank on Butcher Island, off Mumbai shore. It took four days to extinguish the fire. The Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) has also witnessed a string of fire incidents in its refineries, especially those located in Odisha and Haryana, A Down To Earth report said.