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The BPCL fire in the hydrocracker plant was extinguished close to midnight. The officials have now begun work of assessment of extent of losses. No product (high speed diesel) shortage of envisaged on account of the fire, said BPCL spokesperson S S Sundararajan.
On Wednesday afternoon, a major fire broke out in the hydrocracker plant at BPCL Mahul refinery, triggering panic among locals, who spilled out onto the streets hearing an explosion and feeling tremors. As pictures and videos went viral on social media, with citizens fearing the spread of toxic gases, BPCL authorities allayed their fears saying there was no reason to panic.
Forty persons were injured, five seriously, two of whom sustained severe head wounds and are critical. The injuries were caused by flying debris, not burns. About 45 workers had a miraculous escape, thanks to a hissing sound from the plant minutes before the explosion.
While the cause of the explosion and fire is yet to be ascertained, sources said one cannot rule out the possibility of a ‘vapour cloud ignition’, the vapour cloud being a mixture of hydrogen and hydrogen sulphide, because of a gas leakage from the hydrocracker plant.
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