Panic spread among locals in Andhra Pradesh, after a crude oil tank of the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) in Malkapuram caught fire after it was struck by lightning on Saturday.
Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident, and no causalities were reported. Rainfall at the time of the incident also helped in keeping the flames under control.
The Hindu reported that the lightning hit the tank at around 6:30 pm on Saturday, following which HPCL fire tenders rushed to the spot and doused the flames within an hour.
The report adds that there were around two or three crude oil tanks in the area, but an untoward incident was avoided as the fire was contained, before it could spread.
The Times of India reported that locals suspected saw smoke emanating from the west side of the refinery and alerted the authorities. Lighting had struck the 120 T 01D crude oil tank, following which firefighter used foam, to douse the fire.
Authorities at HPCL also told the media that refinery operations were not affected by the accident.
This is not the first accident that was witnessed at the HPCL refinery.
In September 1997, at least 22 people were killed after an LPG pipeline leak caused an explosion in the storage area of the refinery, leading to a major fire.
Reports at the time stated that the blaze raged on for more than 12 hours, and around 70,000 people in the area had to flee their homes.
The next major accident occurred in August 2013, when over 25 people died, after an under-construction cooling tower at the spot collapsed, engulfing the area in fire and smoke.