Nine IOC officials arrested in Jaipur depot fire case

Eight months after a devastating fire at an Indian Oil Corp fuel depot here killed 11 people, police on Friday arrested nine senior company officials including its General Manager for the state on charges of criminal negligence.

Updated: Jul 02, 2010, 21:46 PM IST

Jaipur: Eight months after a devastating
fire at an Indian Oil Corp (IOC) fuel depot here killed 11
people, police on Friday arrested nine senior company officials
including its General Manager for the state on charges of
criminal negligence.

IOC General Manager for Rajasthan Gautam Bose and eight
other officers were arrested under various sections of the
Indian Penal Code (IPC) including section 304-II (culpable
homicide not amounting to murder), Inspector General (Jaipur
Zone) B L Soni said.
Section 304-II of IPC carries a maximum prison term of 10
years.

Those arrested in connection with the October 29 fire
caused by leakage of petrol during transfer from storage tank,
included chief of operations at IOC`s Jaipur depot, Rajesh
Sayal.

Eleven persons were killed and 45 injured in the fire
that was blamed on human error by an expert group headed by
former Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL) Chairman M B Lal.

IOC officials were called by the police for questioning
in connection with the incident but were later arrested.

The arrested officials are likely to apply for bail in a
local court tomorrow.

Soni said all of the officers were arrested at Sanganer
Sadar police station after being quizzed by police in the case
registered by a private firm Genus Company, Soni said.

Additional Superintendent of Police Yogesh Goyal, who is
investigating the case, said Bose, who is currently posted in
Mumbai, was called for interrogation along with eight other
officials.
The others arrested are Shashank Shekhar, Manager
Operation, K S Kanojia, senior terminal manager, Arun Poddar,
Manager Terminal, Kapil Goyal, Deputy Manager Terminal, Ashok
Gupta, operation officer, Kailash Nath Agarwal, Chargeman, and
S S Gupta, DGM Pipeline who is presently posted in Ghaziabad,
he said.

Lal in his report to the Central Government had stated
that IOC personnel at the Jaipur depot did not observe "normal
safety procedure."

He said gross negligence during transfer of fuel from
storage tank resulted in a 10-12 metre fountain of petrol
spreading vapours over a 250 metre radius for 75 minutes
before a spark caused by start of two-wheeler or kitchen
within the radius triggered the fire that engulfed the entire
depot.

PTI