At least two workers were killed and four received burns in a fire that broke out at an ONGC oil well in Nandej near Ahmedabad on Wednesday night. The fire broke out when the workers were carrying out maintenance work.
Additional Chief Fire Officer at Ahmedabad Fire Emergency Services, Rajesh Bhatt, said, “Although the exact cause of the fire can only be known after forensic investigation, it is suspected that an ignition source near the drilling site led to the blaze. There was sufficient quantity of spillage from the drilling well plus there was also an oil tanker near it. Moreover, during drilling, there are inflammable vapours that accumulate in the surrounding environment, thereby making it susceptible to inflammation.”
Bhatt added, “A total of nine vehicles were sent to the spot, including water tender, water bowsers, water tankers and foam nursers.”
The deceased were identified as Sanjay Mahendra Singh (25) and Shahjad Alam Ansari (27).
J N Khadia, Deputy Chief Fire Officer of Ahmedabad Fire Emergency Services, said, “Contract workers were working when the fire broke out. No ONGC employees or firemen have been hurt.” An investigation is underway to ascertain the cause of the incident.
The fire control room received an alert at 8.54 pm from one Ashwin Sharma. Khadia said, “One fire fighter and a water tender were immediately sent from Jashodanagar Fire Station, upon receiving the alert. It took us nearly 15-20 minutes to cover the 11 kilometres of distance and reach the spot. “We further called eight more water tenders, thereafter. It took us nearly 45 minutes to douse the fire,” he added.
A statement from ONGC on Thursday said that the fire broke out at around 8.30 pm at Nandej Well no. 6 near Ahmedabad “while workover (repair and maintenance) operations were being carried out by chartered hire Workover Rig Akash 4 on Wednesday”. “Two workers have lost their lives in the incident. Four injured workers are being treated at a nearby hospital in Ahmedabad,” the statement added.