A fire broke out at an Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) plant in Surat in the early hours of Thursday. It was brought under control by 7 am and no casualties or injuries were reported, ONGC tweeted.
According to the information, three consecutive blasts took place at two terminals of the Hazira-based ONGC plant in Surat at around 3 am.
According to ONGC sources in Hazira, natural gas from Mumbai high sea offshore is transported to the plant through two pipe-lines of diameter 36 inches and 42 inches respectively, through a 240-kilometer network.
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In a statement, ONGC Hazira plant manager and Group General Manager, DM Roy, said, “Small to moderate fire broke out in the Gas Terminal (the 36-inch line coming from offshore), a part of Hazira plant of ONGC, at around 3 am… due to leakage of gas… This led to the actuation of the emergency alarm system and shut down the plant.”
He added, “A large number of depressurizations, actuated due to shut down of units, resulted in excessive flaring and blast-like noise. Corresponding units of the plant have been isolated and depressurized and the fire has been brought under control. No casualty or injury has been reported.”
ONGC’s fire department personnel rushed to douse the fire as the technical expert team shut the gas supply valves at nearby stations in Gavier, Dumas, and Abhva villages. Later, six fire tenders with around 10 fire personnel from the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) fire department also reached the spot.
An official of the ONGC fire department said, “The fire was brought under control by 7 am. The endpoint of the 36-inch pipeline was partially damaged… there was no other damage.”
“The technical expert team has examined the pipeline and said the repair work can be done in a week, after which operations will resume,” said an ONGC source.
The blasts in the plant, located on the bank of the Tapi river, were heard in around a five-kilometer radius. Videos and images of the incident were shared widely on social media. People gathered on the bridge on the Tapi river connecting the Dumas area to Hazira, to witness the fire, and police had to intervene to clear the traffic.