Sunday, Feb 18, 2018 | Last Update : 04:50 AM IST
Excessive heat reignites flames, which started due to a lightning strike on Friday.
Mumbai: Despite valiant efforts by firemen, the blaze at a fuel tank farm of the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) located on the Jawahar Dweep (Butcher Island) continued to rage till reports last came in on Saturday night. Efforts are still on to extinguish the fire, said fire officials but the residual high-speed diesel is expected to take until Sunday morning to burn out. No causalities have been reported so far. After the fire broke out, vessels in the island’s vicinity have been moved to a distance as a precautionary measure.
A BPCL spokesperson had said that a lightning strike during Friday’s thundershowers was the apparent cause behind the fire. But a detailed inquiry is underway.
MbPT deputy chairman, Mr Y. A. Wanage said, “The fire is under control, and limited to one tank only, BPCL’s tank No. 13. As the flames rage on top, we are evacuating fuel from the bottom and simultaneously putting water and foam to contain the flames.” The 30,000-kl tank, which was filled to capacity when it caught fire, still has 20 per cent fuel at the top. Fuel in adjoining tanks is being emptied as a precaution.
According to fire officials, they had managed to bring the blaze under control, but ‘excessive heat’ led to reignition at the tank around 4.30 am on Saturday. The fire had broken out around 5 pm on Friday, when Mumbai and its surrounding areas were witnessing thundershowers. “Both fire fighting as well as cooling operations are now on. Foam and other extinguishing agents are being used for the purpose,” said Prabhat Rahangdale, chief fire officer, Mumbai Fire Brigade. “The fire brigade team had reached around 10 feet near the blaze-hit tank. Because of the heat, the foam was not settling down and this was causing reignition. Our challenge was to keep the other tanks near the affected one safe,” he said.