Another year, another accident? Major fire at HPCL Plant in Vizag

A major fire broke out at the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) plant in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday afternoon, but no immediate casualties were reported. According to sources, the fire erupted in the crude distillation unit in the HPCL old terminal.

An emergency siren was immediately sounded following which the employees and workers rushed out of the unit. Fire was caused by a leakage in the overhead line leading to crude distillation unit no 3 and the highly inflammable crude caught fire with a blast leading to huge tongues of flame and thick smoke. 

“There was a deafening sound like a blast and there was a ball of fire. The siren kept blaring and we all came running out for safety,” some workers said, coming out of the plant. Nearly 3000 employees work at the plant and no casualties were reported. 

As many as 13 fire tenders including the ones from the Indian Naval base and Coromandel Fertilisers nearby, put out the fire within a couple of hours, bringing things under control. The refinery was shut down to facilitate damage control.

Going by these incidents, it is unfortunate that the government is lax about industrial safety issues and has not learnt from the previous incidents too. 

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