Visakhapatnam biodiesel facility still on fire
Biomax's biodiesel facility (estimated to be one of India's biggest) with a manufacturing volume of 5 lakh tonnes per year continued to burn, 2nd day after it caught fire. The 12 storage tanks continued to burn as their reserves hadn't depleted yet. Authorities said the fire will be completely put out by the evening. Measures are being taken that the fire doesn't spread.
A biodiesel unit near the port city of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh went ablaze around 7.30 pm. There were no reported casualties from the fire. Rescue rushed to put out the fire at Biomax's facilities in the Duvvada (Visakhapatnam) Special Economic Zone. It was reported that there had been 18 tanks of raw materials and fuel at the facility, 12 of them caught fire.
40 fire engines were swiftly sent to check the blazing fire at the Biomax facility. Indian Navy Commander said that the Navy had sent 8 fire extinguishers and was doing all it could to help. The quick coordination among the firefighting agencies managed to save the 15 workers at the facility and six of the tanks from the fire.
A similar fire had erupted on 15 September 1997 in Hindustan Petroleum refinery in Visakhapatnam which had claimed 22 lives. Fire accidents in industries have been escalating, and since 2012, there have been almost 30 such accidents.
The fire at the manufacturing unit in Visakhapatnam Special Economic Zone (VSEZ) is expected to cause a loss of around Rs.120 crores. The cause of the fire could not be ascertained just yet. Eyewitnesses claimed that at least 6 oil tankers had exploded due to the fire. Human Resources Development Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao hurried to the biodiesel factory to monitor the situation.
Each of the 12 tanks that caught fire has a "capacity of 3,000 litres and were filled between 30 to 70 per cent" at the time of fire.