The raging fire at a biofuel plant in Visakhapatnam, which started on Tuesday, continued for a third day as firefighters and various officials continued their efforts of gradually extinguishing the flame.
Mohan Rao, District Fire Officer told The News Minute:
"The fire is still on and we are using 45 fire engines to stop the fire. Around 10% of the fire is left and it will be be controlled by today evening around 7:30 pm. We are using foam and water to control fire, and the temperature inside the tenders is so high that it's becoming difficult to go near the affected area. Still tenders are battling the fire and there are no causalities."
The blaze occurred in the storage area and no worker was present in close proximity of the mishap site. However, there were a reported 15 workers in the complex, who managed to escape unhurt.
"Fortunately, those inside the premises were quickly moved out. With the navy and other public sector units, like Vizag steel plant, the HPCL as also nearby pharma industries pitching in with fire-fighting, the damage could be contained," state minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao was quoted as saying.
Visakhapatnam District Collector N Yuvaraj said out of 18 storage tanks located at the site, 12 caught fire. The delay in dousing the fire is because the entire oil in the tanks has to burn completely, he said.
The authorities also took steps to avoid the fire from spreading to six other tanks which were there in the same area, he added.
Biomax Fuels Ltd has a manufacturing capacity of five lakh tonnes of bio-diesel from multi-feedstock at VSEZ.
According to officials, more than Rs 90-100 crore worth of property has been lost in the accident and 12 tanks filled with 15-20 tonnes of crude oil will also be lost by the time the fire subsides.
The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.
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