Nine people were injured, two of them critically, in a major fire that broke out at an Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) petrol pump near the Raj Bhavan here on Wednesday, police said.
Five fire engines along with Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force personnel doused the flame after fighting it for about two hours, fire department sources said.
Commissioner of Police S S Sarangi said the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.
Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who hails from Odisha, ordered a probe into the incident.
The explosion caused by the fire was so loud that it caused people to rush out of the nearby buildings fearing that there was an earthquake.
Some nearby shops and houses suffered damages due to the blast while many glass panels of Raj Bhavan were shattered, sources said.
Under the impact of the explosion several vehicles which were near the site at that time were found to have been thrown away, eyewitnesses said.
The petrol pump itself was damaged in the blaze and IOCL authorities have pumped out the petrol and diesel stored in separate tankers at the fuel station.
"Two persons with burn injuries were referred to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack. Seven others also suffered injuries due to the explosion and fire. This apart, several people living in nearby houses were also injured as glass panels (at their residences) broke," Sarangi said.
Sarangi said the police registered a criminal case in connection with the fire mishap.
"Our forensic science team has been working at the site and authorities of the IOCL have been contacted," he said.
"I have directed the Petroleum and Natural Gas Secretary to conduct a probe into the fire incident that took place near Raj Bhavan in Bhubaneswar," the Union petroleum minister tweeted.
Pradhan wished a quick recovery for those injured in the mishap.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the state government will bear the cost of treatment of the injured and wished them quick return to health.
Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal, who was in Raj Bhavan, at the time of the blast, expressed concern over the incident.
"Hon'ble Governor is concerned to know about the explosion in the petrol tank near Raj Bhavan and prays for the speedy recovery of the injured persons and well-being of all," according to a Raj Bhavan statement.
"All our glass windows are broken under the impact of the blast. It was so powerful that initially, we considered it to be an earthquake," a senior Raj Bhavan official said.
"Around 500 deer that live on the Raj Bhavan premises ran helter-skelter before congregating at one place out of fear. The animals were scared and refused to drink water for nearly two hours after the blast," the official said.
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