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12 killed in Jaipur IOC depot fire, Army called


JAIPUR & NEW DELHI: A devastating fire swept through an Indian Oil fuel storage and distribution terminal on the outskirts of Jaipur on Thursday, killing at least a dozen people and injuring more than 100. The toll is likely to go up as the blaze is still raging. At the time of going to press, all 12 tankers at the terminal were aflame. ( Watch Video )

Preliminaryreports said the fire broke out after a pipeline valve failed when petrol was being transferred from the IoC terminal to Bharat Petroleum's storage nearby. D C Daga, director marketing of IoC, said the firebegan with a leak in one of the tankers.

The Met department recorded a tremor measuring 2.3 on the Richter scale around the time the first explosion was heard at 7.36pm. Such was the impact of the explosions that windows of houses even 3km away were damaged. The capacity of the terminal is 80 lakh litres of fuel.

There were at least 40 IoC employees at the terminal, which is close to the Sanganer airport, and it isn't known how many of them have managed to escape. About 300 tourists from nearby Chowkidhani resorts were evacuated. Electricity lines in surrounding areas have snapped. Students living in nearby hostels have been taken to safer places.

All 31 fire tenders in Jaipur have been rushed to the spot and an expert from Mumbai has been contacted to fly down and help douse the fire. The terminal gets its supplies from IoC's Mathura refinery through pipeline and feeds part of the Rajasthan market.

The massive spillage of highly inflammable petrol being pumped at high pressure has resulted in heavy destruction. A team of IoC officials has rushed to Jaipur. Petroleum minister Murli Deora is expected to reach the spot on Friday morning. IoC officials said oil supply in the state would not be affected, and that another terminal at Jodhpur would be pressed into service.

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