Vizag HPCL refinery fire: Death toll climbs to 19

Vizag HPCL refinery fire: Death toll climbs to 19 Visakhapatnam: The death toll in the massive fire at Hindustan Petroleum refinery-cum-petrochemical complex here, on Saturday rose to 19 with one more private worker succumbing to burns at a hospital here.

According to HPCL sources, the worker identified G Varun Kumar (20) died at the New care hospital here.

At present, 16 patients are undergoing treatment at various hospitals in the city while eight injured have been shifted to a burns hospital in Mumbai, where they are responding well, sources said.

On August 23, a big blaze broke out at the sprawling complex here when staffers from private companies were at work. Prima facie, a gas leak in the sea cooling water system was attributed to the fire even as probe is on into the mishap.

Out of the 19 people killed so far, only Ch Murali, in-charge of the cooling tower, was an employee of HPCL, while other victims were private workers engaged on contract.

HPCL officials had earlier said that altogether 102 workers, including eight employees of HPCL, were at the site at the time of the accident. Out of the total workers present at the site, 56 workers, including seven HPCL staffers, escaped unhurt when the blaze began.

The production activity is expected to resume soon.

PTI