Huge plumes of thick smoke were seen after a fire broke out at a Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) plant in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, today.
Fire engines were rushed to the spot to douse the fire.
A warning bell was immediately sounded to make the employees evacuate the plant. At least 100 employees were at the plant at the time of the incident.
The HPCL company, in a tweet, said the fire has been extinguished, there were no casualties and everyone is safe.
“A fire incident occurred in one of the crude processing units of HPCL’s Visakh Refinery at 3pm on 25th May 2021. Safety measures and firefighting was activated immediately. The fire has been extinguished. There is no casualty and no risk to public. Other Refinery operations are normal,” it said.
“It is to confirm that there is no casualty. All people are accounted and are safe. Fire is extinguished completely. Except the particular unit where fire occurred, all other process units of Visakh Refinery are operating normally,” it added.
The cause of the incident is not yet known, officials said.
The blast was reported at Unit-3 plant in HPCL, the police said.
Visakhapatnam District Collector V Vinay Chand said the fire was doused quickly, averting major damage. “There were no casualties nor was anyone injured in the mishap,” the collector said.
Teams from HPCL, personnel from the Eastern Naval Command and the Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Response and Fire Services Department managed to put out the fire in a swift operation.
HPCL runs a 8.3 million tonnes a year oil refinery at Visakhapatnam, according to news agency PTI. The unit turns crude oil into value added fuels like petrol and diesel. The fire will likely lead to shutting down of the crude distillation unit (CDU) for a few days, PTI reported.
“Fire at HPCL refinery at Visakhapatnam has been doused. There is no report of any casualty,” the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas also tweeted.
A fire had broken out at the same plant in 2013, killing more than 20 people at that time.