source : Times of India
12 dead in Jaipur oil depot blaze; Deora says fire 'to die down on its own'
JAIPUR: Petroleum minister Murli Deora on Friday said the fire at Indian Oil Corporation's fuel depot on the outskirts of the city has to diedown on its own and there was "no other solution" to douse the leaping flames.
"You cannot do anything now. It (fire) has to die down on its own," said Deora, who arrived early morning to take stock of the situation.
Asked if the fire would continue to rage, he said "That's what experts say. There is nothing else one can do. There is no other solution or alternative".
"We will have to let all the fuel burn. Only then will experts be able to go anywhere near the site," Deora told reporters here after a visit to the site with senior officials of the state-run company. "We expect the fuel to burn out by evening."
He said he will also order an inquiry into the matter but after due consultations with Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot. The extent of damage was also being ascertained, he added.
Deora said the "Centre is in touch with authorities and are trying to help the aggrieved. We are also trying to provide proper treatment for the injured".
12 persons were killed and around 150 injured in the fire that broke out at around 7.30 pm on Thursday evening when petrol was being transferred from the depot to a pipeline and swiftly spread out of control.
The company has 11 huge tanks and all of them were seen burning. Around 25 fire tenders were pressed into service.
A leak in the pipeline is suspected to have caused the blaze.
The district collector has prohibited the entry of anybody within a five kilometre radius of the area under fire. The Jaipur-Kota highway has been closed down for vehicles and about 20 trains scheduled to pass through the nearby railway line have been affected. Nearby villages have also been vacated.
Residents of about ten nearby villages, which house an estimated five lakh people, and inmates of hostels in 10 engineering and technical colleges and a medical college have been evacuated in the wake of the incident after which power supply in the area was cut off.