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45 injured as fire breaks out at BPCL refinery in Mumbai

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

At least 45 workers were injured in a that broke out following a boiler blast at a refinery here this afternoon, officials said.

The incident took place at the firm's plant on the Mahul Road in Chembur area of East around 2.45 pm, they said.

The was brought under control after three hours, a Brigade said, adding that cooling operations were underway.

Locals in the area staged a protest after the incident, saying a similar accident in the future could turn out to be more devastating.

Forty-five workers were injured in the incident, Shahaji Umap, of Police (Zone-VI), said.

After preliminary treatment at the BPCL's first aid centre, 22 of them were allowed to go home, while others were shifted to a nearby hospital in Chembur, he said.

Nine fire tenders, two foam tenders and two jumbo tankers were pressed into service to douse the blaze.

Along with the Fire Brigade, the refinery's own fire-fighting team, HPCL, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, RCF and Mazgaon Dock fire brigades were also engaged, an of the Disaster Control Room of the said.

The incident took place in the "of Hydrocracker plant", as per the company's statement.

"The hydrocracker unit has been safely shut down while the other units are normal. No product shortage is envisaged on account of the fire," the company said late in the evening.

Fire Brigade P S Rahangdale said the fire fighting was made difficult by heat and built-up pressure inside the plant.

According to Santosh Aadhar, a local resident, a "massive" explosion was heard in the surrounding area.

"Its tremors shook windows of our building which is 500 metres away from the refinery," Aadhar told reporters.

People living in the vicinity gathered at the refinery's gate, shouting slogans and demanding that they be relocated from the area.

Hundreds of families displaced for various government projects or due to slum demolitions have been resettled in Mahul village.

"Had the boiler exploded near our building, we would have been reduced to ashes," said Puja Waghmare, a local resident.

Reshma Chavan, another woman, said, "Today's explosion shattered the window panes in our building. We were lucky that the plant where it happened is farther from our building. Can anyone guarantee that such incident will not take place in future?" she asked.

Shivraj Pandit, convenor of Chembur Welfare Brigade, a local outfit, said air pollution in the area is a major concern, and the government agencies were neglecting it.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, August 08 2018. 23:20 IST