At least two people were killed and three others were seriously injured in a fire at an oil terminal in Kemari area of Karachi.
According to police, the fire broke out at Shell Oil Depot at Terminal No. 1 of Kemari after which three injured were admitted to Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi.
SHO Adil Khan had initially said that five employees of a private oil company were present at the scene when the fire broke out.
The dead have been identified as Shahid and Saleh Mohammad.
The fire was brought under control after four hours of hard work by fire tenders of KMC and Karachi Port Trust, the police officer said.
A Karachi Port Trust fire department official said they received a report of a fire at 1:05 p.m., and fire tenders were able to put out the blaze by 3:30 p.m., but cooling work continued till the evening.
The official said that the real cause of the fire would be known only after the experts submit a report.
The injured were rushed to the hospital in an Edhi Foundation ambulance and according to a spokesperson of the foundation, the burn victims were critically injured.
Commissioner Karachi ordered an inquiry
The fire in the shell storage at Kemari Oil Installation will be investigated and Commissioner Karachi Sohail Rajput has ordered an inquiry and appointed Additional Commissioner Karachi as Inquiry Officer.
A statement issued in connection with the investigation said that the inquiry officers would be able to seek help from experts or concerned department in the investigation while the inquiry officer has been directed to find out the reasons behind the incident and identify those who were responsible.
The notification said that it would be ascertained whether the security protocol has been complied with or not.
Commissioner Karachi said that steps should be taken in the report to prevent such incidents in future.
According to the notification, the investigation will be completed within a week and suggestions will be submitted to the Commissioner Karachi for necessary action.
Meanwhile, a spokesman of Pakistan Rangers Sindh said in a statement that the fire broke out in the petrol unit of Kemari Oil Terminal 1.
The statement said that Rangers along with rescue services reached the spot and cordoned off the area.
A Pakistan Navy spokesman said that naval personnel and fire tenders also took part in the firefighting activities.
The fire has affected the delivery of oil across the country as the All Pakistan Oil Tankers Owners Association has advised tanker owners, drivers and cleaners to stay away from the oil depot for safety reasons.
We will take action against those responsible, KPT said
A statement issued by the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) said, “Immediately after the fire broke out in the Shell oil terminal in the afternoon, we took action to put out the fire.”
According to KPT, PSO lines were passing through the boundaries of the shell in which a fire broke out. A team led by Chairman KPT Rear Admiral (retd) Jameel Akhtar immediately rushed to the spot and put out the fire. Took charge which lasted for 4 hours.
All of KPT’s assets and efforts have been made to protect potentially endangered properties in most parts of the large oil installation area in Kemari. Currently, this area is not the responsibility of KPT for oil installation.
The cause of the fire was not immediately clear, but according to reports, PSO personnel were working on fuel lines at the shell compound when the fire broke out, the statement said.
According to KPT, work in such a sensitive area requires a lot of skill and it seems that the fire started as a result of a serious violation of security measures and if any violation is found, KP T will take strict disciplinary action against him.
The statement said that the KPT chairman has requested the commissioner Karachi to investigate the matter so that the reasons for the incident could be ascertained as a result of which two persons were killed and an FIR was lodged against those responsible for the assurance.