At around 5.30 pm, a pipeline carrying petrol at the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) in the Mumbai Port Trust (BPT) area caught fire on Saturday evening, injuring one fireman named Ratan Kohlekar.
The fire at the oil depot
The siren set off a panic situation, as officials worked to remove the oil tankers and workers from the premises. Inspite of four fire vehicles, more were called in to carry out the foaming operation.
The blaze in the background at the oil depot in Wadala. Pic: Atul Kamble
Another minor blast was heard at 8.45 pm. Five leakages were first reported in the 14-inch wide HPCL pipelines outside Castrol gate at around 9.30 am.
Two fire engines from the Mumbai Port Trust reached the spot at 10.25 am. HPCL officials informed the fire department at around 1.47 pm after which four fire engines were rushed to the spot.
Injured fireman Ratan Kohlekar. Pic/Satyajit Desai
The foaming operation was carried out from Castrol Company till the BPT check naka covering a stretch of 1,000 metres. Along with the petroleum line, the area also had kerosene, diesel and black oil pipelines.
When contacted Additional Commissioner of Police Anil Kumbhare said, “No casualties have been reported.”
Pic: Atul Kamble
Alka Sasane F North Ward officer of BMC said, “The concerned pipeline belongs to BPT. A show cause notice will be issued to BPT, inquiring about the maintenance and leakage of the pipeline.”
An officer from one of the oil companies said, “Annually, we pay Rs 4 crore as a rent to the BPT for the pipeline. Maintenance is BPT’s responsibility.” BPT’s section officer Sunil Ghag refused to comment. Baldev Bhatia, deputy general manager, HPCL, said, “At 9.30 am, we were informed about the leakage. Foaming operations started immediately. The reason behind leakage is not known.”