12 Killed in Jaipur Fire, 150 Wounded, 5 Lakhs Displaced

A massive fire that broke out at the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) depot near Jaipur has been raging on for almost 19 hours now. So far six people have been killed and six are missing and more than 150 injured in the fire, with death toll likely to rise further, said media reports said. Besides, lakhs of people have been displaced.

Yesterday, at IOC petrol depot in Sitapura area on the outskirts of Jaipur city when petrol was being transported to a pipeline, the explosion took place the fire soon engulfed the entire depot, spreading over 5 kms.

A rescuer and eyewitness Shankar Singh said, “One of the oil tanks caught fire and then it spread rapidly. There were huge flames as high as 70 feet and the whole area of nearly 2-3 kilometres was engulfed in fire and flames.”

To bring the fire under control, firefighting teams as well as special chemical fire tenders swung into action.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has spoken to Petroleum minister Murli Deora so that a team of experts can come together to control the fire as soon as possible.

300 army personnel are helping with the firefighting operation.

Meanwhile District officials declared the area a danger zone and nearly 5 lakh people including students from 10 neighbouring colleges and 10 villagers in the vicinity have been moved to safer locations.

Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said, “I’ll meet the CM in a short while. I have been touch with him since last night. People from Mathura refinery are here, we’re trying to control the fire but it won’t extinguish till the entire fuel burns out. I don’t want to comment on the reason of how the fire broke out till an enquiry report comes out. An inquiry committee will be set up today.”

Authorities are still trying to ascertain what caused a catastrophe of this scale. Was it a stray firecracker that ignited the flames or was it a mild earthquake that occurred moments earlier that triggered the disaster.

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