The major fire which broke out at the Biomax Fuels Limited's bio-diesel manufacturing plant in Visakhapatnam Tuesday was extinguished completely by Tuesday evening by some 40 fire engines.
No casualties were reported.
A top-level government officer said the building fire safety norms had not been implemented at the plant. The fire broke out at around 7.30 on Monday evening at the plant located in the Visakhapatnam Special Economic Zone in Duvvada area.
In a statement, Director General, State Disaster Response and Fire Services, T A Tripathi, said BFL had no fire safety systems as prescribed in the National Building Code, 2005.
In his report to the Government, Tripathi said required safety distance between the storage tanks was not maintained; as a result the fire quickly spread from one tank to another.
It engulfed 12 out of the 18 storage tanks. There was no proper captive fire control system, automated drenching system and sprinklers, he said. Collector Dr N Yuvaraj said in his report that according to the factory employees, short circuit in a motor sparked off the blaze.
Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has ordered a joint inspection by the AP Pollution Control Board, fire services and factories department
officials of all the industrial units in the Visakhapatnam district and their industrial safety audit within a week.
Forty fire engines--20 from the state fire services and the rest from the Eastern Naval Command, Visakhapatnam Port Trust, HPCL-VR plant, Visakhapatnam Steel Plant and some other establishments battled the fire.
IOC, HPCL-VR, VisakhapatnamPort, BPCL, Laurus and others provided more than 10,000 litres of foam which was used to contain the fire.
Collector Yuvraj said as per the preliminary information the fire started at tank No 9 and tank No 4. As the company's own fire-fighting team was about to start containing-and-dousing operation, there was a blast in tank No 4 following which the workers fled from the scene.
Biomax Fuels Ltd has a manufacturing capacity of five lakh tonnes of bio-diesel.
The Eastern Naval Command, meanwhile, said that nine fire tenders of the navy were deployed at the site. The navy initially launched two aircraft for aerial reconnaissance and assessment of the extent of fire. Its Quick Reaction Team and an ambulance with a medical team were also rushed to the site with the fire tenders.
Image: The fire broke out at around 7.30 on Monday evening at the plant located in the Visakhapatnam Special Economic Zone in Duvvada area. Photograph: ANI