The Jaipur Oil Depot Fire
The Jaipur oil depot fire broke out on 29 October 2009 at 7:30 PM (IST) at the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) oil depot’s giant tank holding 8,000 kiloliters (280,000 cu ) of oil, in Sitapura Industrial Area on the outskirts of Jaipur, Rajasthan, killing 12 people and injuring over 200. The blaze continued to rage out of control for over a week after it started and during the period half a million people were evacuated from the area.
The oil depot is about 16 kilometers (9.9 mi) south of the city of Jaipur. Indian Oil The incident occurred when petrol was being Bhopal Gas Tragedy transferred from the Indian Oil Corporation’s oil depot to a pipeline. There were at least 40 IOC employees at the terminal, situated close to the Jaipur International Airport) when it caught fire with an explosion. The Met department recorded a tremor measuring 2.3 on the Richter scale around the me the first explosion at 7:36 pm which resulted in shattering of glass windows nearly 3 kilometers (1.9 mi) from the accident site.
The fire was a major disaster in terms of deaths, injury, loss of business, property and man- days, displacement of people, environmental impact in Jaipur.
How did the Jaipur Oil Depot Fire occur?
As per eyewitnesses having factories and hotels around Indian Oil’s Sitapura (Jaipur) Oil Terminal. They felt presence of petrol vapour in the atmosphere around 4:00 p.m. on 29 October 2009. Within the next few hours the concentration of petrol vapour intensified making it difficult to breathe. The Ayush Hotel in the vicinity of the terminal asked all its guests to vacate the Hotel to avert any tragedy.
Adjacent to the Terminal wall. the workshop of Morani Motors (P) Limited; whereas per eyewitnesses the Cars parked on the roof top thrown up in Air to about 10 feet and 35 new Hyundai brand cars completely damaged. The police, civil administrator on and fire emergency services were oblivious of the situation developing in Indian Oil Terminal.
Around half past six the staff in the terminal had contained the leak and flow of petrol; panicked and reported the matter to nearby Sanganer Sadar Police Station. Within the next 30 minutes the local police chief. And District Collector were on the spot along with Oil general manager; but with no plan to deal with the situation. The nearby industries, which running second shifts, cautioned to vacate the area.
At 7:35 p.m. a huge ball of fire with loud explosion broke out engulfing the leaking petrol tank. And other nearby petrol tanks with continuous fire with flames rising 30-35 m (98-115 ) and visible from a 30 km (19 mi) radius. The traffic on adjacent National Highway No. 12 stopped leading to a 20 km (12 mi) long traffic jam. The Jaipur International Airport is just 5 km (3.1 mi) away from the accident site.
Both the Army and experts from Mumbai employed on 30 October 2009 to contain the fire.
Which started when an oil tanker caught fire at the depot in the Sitapura Industrial Area. The district administration disconnected electricity and evacuated nearby areas to limit the damage. The fire still raged on 31 October 2009, in the Indian Oil Corporation Depot, at Jaipur. After a defective pipe line leak that set fire to 50,000 kiloliters (1,800,000 cu) of diesel and petrol; out of the storage tanks at the IOC Depot. By then, the accident had already claimed 11 lives and seriously injured more than 150.
Emergency Response of Indian Government
The District Administration and Indian Oil Corporation had no disaster management plan to deal with this kind of calamity. The local fire officers ill equipped to deal with fire accidents of this magnitude. They remained onlookers and no efforts made to breach the terminal wall to get closer to kerosene and diesel tanks; to cool them with water jets.