Jaipur fire: Indian Oil Corp faces negligence charge

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 3, 2009 - 13:47

Jaipur: An executive of a private company has filed a complaint against Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) after a fire broke out at its oil depot here Oct 29 killing 11 people and injuring over 150. With four of the 11 tanks in the depot still ablaze on the sixth day, the IOC has been charged with criminal negligence.

The blaze broke out in the depot in Sitapura industrial area about 20 km from the Jaipur city centre at 7.15 pm Oct 29.
"The FIR (first information report), was filed on Monday by Pratipal Singh, an employee of Genus Power Infrastructure Limited, a factory that is situated near the IOC depot," a police officer told media here Tuesday.

"We have lodged a case under Section 304 A, which relates to causing death by negligence, and other appropriate sections of the Indian Penal Code," he said.

According to the management at Genus, the factory has suffered massive damages because of the fire.

"There were three casualties in our factory and 15 others were injured. It is difficult for us to assess the damage to the industrial unit as of now. We would only be able to do it once the fire is controlled in the depot," an official of the factory said.

Meanwhile the district administration has decided to shut educational institutes in Sitapura for the next eight days. The decision was taken as some of the buildings at the institutes were damaged.

The district administration said that the fire is still blazing in four of the 11 tanks situated in the depot. These tanks contain petrol and diesel. In the remaining seven tanks the fire has almost come to an end and black smoke is coming out, which has formed dark clouds in a two to three km radius around the premises.
A union petroleum ministry team has already visited the site and started its probe into the fire. The team is to submit its report in 60 days.

IOC officials say it will take over a year to rebuild the depot which has been completely damaged.

People living in close proximity of the depot have been complaining of breathing difficulties and itching in the eyes.

"Since Friday night I have been having problems in breathing. I complained to my doctor and he told me it is because of the smoke in the air," Adesh Kumar, a resident of a nearby colony, said.

IANS



First Published: Tuesday, November 3, 2009 - 13:47

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