Visakhapatnam, May 25 (PTI) A fire broke out at Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd's oil refinery in the city on Tuesday afternoon but it was doused within hours and no one was injured.
The fire was noticed at around 15:00 hrs in a pipeline outside the primary unit that processes crude oil for conversion into fuel.
'Safety measures and firefighting was activated immediately,' Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) said. 'The fire has been extinguished. There is no casualty and no risk to the public.' The fire may lead to shutting down of the crude distillation unit (CDU) for a few days.
'Fire at HPCL refinery at Visakhapatnam has been doused. There is no report of any casualty,' the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas also tweeted.
HPCL runs a 8.3 million tonnes a year oil refinery at Visakhapatnam. The unit turns crude oil into value added fuels like petrol and diesel.
In a statement, HPCL said the fire occurred in one of the crude distillation units.
'The affected unit was safely shut down, Emergency Response Plan was activated and the fire was extinguished in a swift operation by HPCL's Fire and Safety Department using six fire tenders,' it said.
There were no casualties nor was anyone injured, it said, adding there was no risk caused to the public.
The 8.33 million tonnes a year (1,66,000 barrels per day) capacity Visakhapatnam Refinery has three crude distillation units.
The fire occurred in the overhead system of one of the distillation units called CDU III, which has a capacity of 3.5 million tonnes (70,000 barrels per day).
The other two distillation units, all secondary processing units and other operations of the refinery are normal.
HPCL said the affected unit will be brought to operation after carrying out the necessary inspection and repairs following due procedures at the earliest.
It also confirmed that there will not be any disruptions in the supply of products.
Emergency sirens were sounded immediately after the fire broke out, and employees and workers rushed out of the unit.
'There was a deafening sound like a blast and there was a ball of fire. The siren sounded and we all came running out to safety,' a worker said, coming out of the plant.
Fire tenders at the plant and also from outside were rushed to the spot to put out the blaze.
Visakhapatnam District Collector V Vinay Chand said the fire was doused quickly, averting major damage.
'There were no casualties nor was anyone injured in the mishap,' he told reporters here.
Besides teams from HPCL, personnel from the Eastern Naval Command and the AP State Disaster Response and Fire Services Department swung into action and put out the blaze in a swift operation. PTI DBV ANZ ABM ABM