The cause of the fire was not known immediately. Locals said there was a powerful explosion before the fire broke out. The fire started from a single storage tank and spread to one more storage tank.
Sources said the fire broke out in petrol storage tank no. 4 having capacity of 70 lakh litres. There are around nine tanks at the IOC terminal of which three are for petrol, three for diesel and three for kerosene. Fuel is supplied to different parts of Gujarat from this terminal.
Over 100 fire fighters from Surat, Valsad, Navsari, Vapi, Ankleshwar, Bharuch, Vadodara, Ahmedabad and other districts were engaged in the extinguishing work.
Surat District Collector Jayprakash Shivhare and Municipal Commissioner M K Das and senior police officials also rushed to the IOC terminal. Public was stopped from entering the premises and the company and its residential premises were vacated by the district administration.
Disaster management teams of Kribhco, ESSAR, NTPC, ONGC and other companies were also rushed to the IOC terminal to assist in extinguishing work. “The fire broke out in petrol storage tank no. 4. Hundreds of fire fighters have been deployed to control it and to stop it spreading,” Shivhare said.
The fire spread to another petrol storage tank later in the afternoon. “A high-level team has been constituted to investigate the cause of the fire,” said an IOC official.