A massive fire broke out at the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s (ONGC) Hazira plant in Gujarat at around 3 am on Thursday. The fire was brought under control by 10 am. ONGC informed that the fire has been completely extinguished.
Notably, no casualties have been reported from the incident. But one labourer who lived in a slum nearby died after the wall of his house collapsed due to the blast burying him.
Fire broke out at 3 am
Three consecutive blasts took place at two terminals of the ONGC plant at around 3 am. The blast was followed by a massive fire that could be seen from buildings far away from the plant. Local residents recorded videos of the incident.
Fire tenders from Hazira and nearby Surat rushed to the site to douse the flames and initiate cooling operations.
Surat collector Dhaval Patel said: “Around 3:05 am last night, three consecutive blasts took place at the ONGC Hazira plant which led to the fire. Seven fire tenders and several firefighters immediately reached the spot to provide relief. No casualties have been reported so far.”
“We are relieved that the fire was contained inside the premises of the plant and did not escalate to an off-site emergency. The ONGC plant will also become partially operational in two to three hours.”
Cause of the fire
The fire was caused by a rupture in a pipeline at the gas terminal of the plant. The area was immediately cordoned off, depressurised and cooled as a part of firefighting measures.
Surat Municipal Commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani said the fire was in the 36-inch Uran-Mumbai gas pipeline.
Gas supply affected
Due to the fire, gas supply to various customers of ONGC was affected. ONGC supplies gas to power suppliers in Gujarat and fertiliser maker KRIBHCO among various other companies. Notably, the ONGC plant at Hazira gets gas from its western offshore fields to produce liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and other products such as Naptha.
Meanwhile, ONGC took to Twitter to inform that the fire has been extinguished and efforts are being made to resume normal operations in the plant at the earliest.
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