Mangalore, September 19: At sharp 3 pm on Thursday, alarm went off from the Indian Oil Corporation Mangalore Terminal at Panambur with a tank lorry filling (TLF) operator rushing out raising an alarm ‘fire….fire’ from the venue where oil was filled into the tanker. Soon the area was swallowed up by a vapour and sequentially fire broke out, posing a threat of it developing as an inferno at any time. But, the operator at TLF bay opened the fire extinguisher to contain the same.
In the meantime, the fire combat team rushed to the spot with the Fire Chief Officer instructing to operate water cum foam to extinguish the fire based on wind direction. At the same time, to avoid the spread of fire, the adjacent petroleum tanks were acted upon fixed water cooling system.
Soon, the auxiliary team also reached the spot supplying more foams, hoses etc to support the fire combat team. The rescue crew searched for any mishaps and traced the injured truck driver and he was soon shifted to the safety zone in a stretcher.
Followed by the first aid treatment, he was rushed to a nearby hospital. Meanwhile, three fire brigades from Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilisers (MCF), Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited (KIOCL) and New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) reached the spot to strengthen the fire extinguishing process. After extinguishing the fire, the Fire Chief declared, ‘All clear’ which has been again communicated through another siren.
The onsite mock drill took place for 12- minute duration under ’emergency response and disaster management plan ‘on Thursday tested the IOC’s preparedness to face any emergency situation and it has been a success, said the Chief Terminal Manager S K Chaudhuri.
The IOC Mangalore terminal, situated in 25 acre of land has a storage capacity of 1,22,452 kilo litre petroleum products such as Motor spirit, Kerosene, High speed diesel, Ethanol, Naphtha etc. It is catering to the needs of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Shimoga, Chikmagalur, Kodagu and Uttara Kannada districts.
Mr Chaudhuri said that as per the recommendations of M B Lal committee, which was set up by the Centre in the aftermath of Jaipur fire accident in 2009 to look into the safety features of IOC terminals across India, projects worth Rs 32 crore has been sanctioned in Mangalore terminal and the implementation is going on.
He explained that,equipping with latest technologies like Hydro carbon detectors, Automated rim seal fire protection system, High volume long range monitors (HVLR), Medium expansion foam generator (MEFG), Double block and bleed valve (DBBV), Remote operated shut off valve (Rosov) are included in the project.
Followed by the mock drill, in the review meet, participants pointed the flaws of NMPT fire tender service reaching the spot minutes late, rescue workers running amidst the foam and initial confusion among the fire service personnel when they entered the main gate of the IOC.
During this event, Deputy Director of Factories and Boilers K G Nanjappa, City Police Commissioner R Hithendra, Assistant Director of Factories H Suresh, MRPL, KIOCL, NMPT, MCF representatives had participated.