Mumbai: Fire breaks out in oil pipeline during repairs

Fire Brigade monitoring situation, police shut traffic on Eastern Freeway after recurrent bursts of flames.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: June 14, 2015 1:21 am
Flames rage from an oil pipeline in the MbPT area near Wadala. (Source: Express Photo by Prashant Nadkar) Flames rage from an oil pipeline in the MbPT area near Wadala. (Source: Express Photo by Prashant Nadkar)

Flames shot up from an oil pipeline passing through the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) compound on Saturday when a leakage in the pipeline was being repaired.

The incident kept the Mumbai Fire Brigade on their toes throughout the evening, and they are monitoring the situation to keep the flames under control.

MbPT officials believe residual fuel in the pipeline caused the flames to shoot up.

According to officials, the leakage was detected on Saturday morning at a point in the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) pipeline that carries petroleum.

“After the leak was detected, valves of the pipeline were shut and the pipeline was hosed with water before work started to plug the leak. We had fire tenders on standby, which is a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in such situations. At around 5:30 pm on Saturday, when the repair work was on, flames started shooting out of the leak directly opposite a storage facility. The reason behind this is still not clear,” said Deputy Chairman (MbPT) Yashodhan Wanage.

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The incident was immediately reported to the Mumbai Fire Brigade and additional fire tenders were rushed to the spot.

“There are ten fire tenders at the spot working to keep the situation in control. The residual fuel in the pipeline is causing flames to keep shooting up, and this will keep happening till the fuel in the pipeline burns out. As the pipeline is still hot, the fuel in the pipeline keeps bursting into flames, and is being controlled. There have been no casualties or damage to property due to the incident,” Wanage said late in the evening.

Traffic police stopped vehicular movement on the Eastern Freeway on Saturday evening as a precautionary measure.

Traffic was restarted when it was believed the flames had subsided but another burst of flames, around 10:15 pm, forced traffic police to stop traffic on the high-speed arterial road once again.

This is the third major fire in Mumbai in little over a month.

On May 9, a fire in Gokul Niwas building in Kalbadevi claimed the lives of four Fire Brigade officers.

Seven people died and 25 were injured in another fire, reported in a building, Lake Lucerne, in the Lake Homes complex in Powai a week ago.

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