IOC fire contained, destroys depot

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Mumbai/New Delhi, Jan 18 (PTI) A fire broke out at alubricant-filling depot of state-run Indian Oil Corp (IOC) onthe outskirts of Mumbai in the wee hours of today but wascontained within hours.

"No one was injured in the fire," IOC Chairman B M Bansaltold a new conference in New Delhi.

The depot in Taloja outside Mumbai stored lube oil forpackaging into containers but had no stocks of crude oil.

Bansal said the fire was reported at around 1.30 am andwas completely put out by 0730 hours.

"The 1,800 kilolitre per month plant blends and fillslubricants in small cans and drums, besides fillingspeciality lubes.

It operates on single shift (8 am to 5 pm) and the plantwas shut when the fire broke out," Bansal said adding the firegutted a shed storing packed lubricants.

"All the other facilities of the plant including storagetank farms, manufacturing plant, laboratory and fire-fightingfacilities are intact," he said.

A fire brigade official in Mumbai said the blaze beganfrom containers containing lubricant oil.

"Thousands of drums with 200 litres capacity each, storedin the godown caught fire and destroyed around 40,000 litresof lubricant oil", the official said.

Bansal said the fire was noticed by the securitypersonnel deployed at the plant around 1.30 am and"preliminary reports indicate the cause of the firecould be due to an electrical short circuit."

"The exact cause of the fire and the extent of productloss will be assessed as soon as the cooling operations arecompleted," he said.

The Taloja plant fire is the third such incident at IOCinstallations since October 2009. The company''s storageterminal in Jaipur in Rajasthan was destroyed in a fire onOctober 29, 2009, killing ten personnel.

A fire broke out at a catalyst area of its naphthacracker unit at Panipat on June 12.

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