MUMBAI: The fire that broke out at the diesel tanks located on the Butcher Island terminal of the Mumbai port trust (MbPT) on Friday evening continued to intensify on Saturday despite efforts by fire personnel to control the blaze.
The firefighters had brought the blaze under control, but “excessive heat” led to reignition at the tank around 4.30 am on Saturday, the official said.
Mumbai fire brigade chief P S Rahangdale said,“Our main challenge is to keep the other tanks near the affected one safe. So, on one hand our firemen are involved in cooling operations to keep other tanks safe, while on the other, they are also engaged in dousing the flames,” Rahangdale added.
According to officials, the fire had broken out around 5 pm on Friday when Mumbai and the surrounding areas witnessed thundershowers. However, no causality was reported.
Executive director Manohar Rao, the fire was apparently caused by a lightning strike amid thundershowers. “The fire is contained to one tank farm owned by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL),” Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) chairman Sanjay Bhatia has said.
The BPCL chairman, Sanjay Bhatia also added that a couple of months back HPCL oil tanks at Visakhapatnam too had encountered similar fire due to lightening strike and hence their help too is being sought to douse off the fire.
Butcher Island, located at around 8 km off the east coast of the city near the iconic Elephanta Island, houses MbPT’s marine oil terminal. Oil tankers offload crude oil at the terminal. The tank that caught fire first was not in operation, which helped in keeping the damage to minimum officials have said.
A team from Mumbai fire brigade along with fire fighting teams from Mumbai Port Trust and Victoria Dock fire station too are trying to douse off the blaze.