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Lightning causes fire at IOC terminal

June 04, 2004 04:13 IST

A fire that broke out in a petrol tank in Indian Oil Corporation's Rajbandh oil terminal near Durgapur in Burdwan district Thursday evening continued past midnight even as the Army, Air Force and Fire Brigade personnel tried to control the blaze.

No casualty was reported in the incident.

IOC sources here told PTI that petrol worth about Rs 12 crore was destroyed in the fire although full assessment of the damage was yet to be made.

General Manager (Safety) of IOC J K Gupta rushed to the spot with a safety team of the company. The West Bengal Fire Services Minister Pratim Chatterjee also visited the area.

Lightning struck Tank 12 at the oil terminal, which contained 4189 kilolitres of oil, at around 6 pm.

Officials said it could take about 10 to 12 hours to contain the flames.

Oil from the affected tank and other tanks nearby were being pumped out to other tanks situated farther away. Sources said the use of foam to extinguish the flames, and water to cool the tanks, would ensure the fire did not spread to the other tanks.

A goods train loaded with oil that had been loaded in the afternoon was shunted out of the terminal as a precaution.

Despite official reassurances, people in nearby areas expressed their disquiet, because they feared the fire could spread to an adjacent oil terminal, owned by the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation.

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