PARADIP: A leakage in the underground Paradip-Haldia crude oil pipeline of Indian Oil Corporation Limited near IOCL township here sparked panic among the locals on Thursday. As crude oil spilled out of the ruptured pipeline and spread to nearby farmland, movement of vehicular traffic on the road adjacent to the leakage site was suspended for nearly five hours to avert any untoward incident.
Sources said the pipeline ruptured near IOCL township in the afternoon. Locals spotted the leaking oil and alerted the IOCL guards. The pipeline authorities were informed by 2 pm and the area was cordoned off. Subsequently, fire services personnel and IOCL officials arrived at the spot.
Chief General Manager of IOCL pipeline division Alok Sahoo said, “Steps are being taken to pump out the spilled crude oil. The cause of the leakage is yet to be ascertained. We have sought cooperation of the public to restrict movement in this part of the road since petroleum vapour is in the air.”
Assistant Director of Factories and Boilers department Chandrakant Dalai said on being informed about the leakage, IOCL officials stopped oil supply through the delivery line immediately. Emergency response vehicle has been engaged to remove the spilled crude oil from the area. The leakage in the pipeline has been plugged temporarily. Later, it will be sealed permanently through online system.
“Since the pipeline is buried 1.5 metre below the ground, it is difficult to immediately ascertain the cause of the rupture. Besides, the quantity of crude oil wasted due to the leakage is yet to be estimated,” he added.Following the incident, locals questioned the safety of the oil pipelines.Demanding stringent measures to prevent any leak in the future, they said the existing pipeline should be replaced immediately.