Uran-like blaze hits ONGC in Mehsana; severely injures 1

New Delhi: An accident that is being touted to be similar in terms of scale to the September fire incident at state-run Oil & Natural Gas Corporation’s (ONGC) Uran plant has been reported from Mehsana in Gujarat last week. A prominent Gujarati newspaper, Divya Bhaskar, said that one person sustained 80 percent burns in the incident while two others, who were from ONGC, sustained minor burns. Efforts to get an official comment on the matter from the ONGC management was made but no response has been received. This story will be updated when an official comment is received. This is the third accident to have hit ONGC since the Uran plant fire was reported in September.

ONGC gas pipeline in Mehsana had been leaking for 2 days

According to the report that appeared in Divya Bhaskar, gas had been leaking from an ONGC gas pipeline that passes through Mitha village in Mehsana for two days. The leakage was detected by a farmer, who worked on the farm, Ranchhodbhai Rabari. ONGC authorities were alerted about the incident by him. On the night of October 30, Rabari, along with the ONGC shift in-charge and a driver made their way towards the farm to check the leakage. After checking the leakage when the three of them restarted the jeep they were travelling in, the jeep caught fire and there was a huge blast that led to three fires in the area. After catching fire, the three people ran for about 300 metres in burning condition to save their lives. Rabari, the farmer, is said to have sustained 80 percent burns in the blaze, while the other two sustained minor injuries.


A video grab from the footage uploaded by Divya Bhaskar on its website

Sources say cloud of gas, similar to the one in Uran, formed

According to a source who spoke to PSU Watch on the condition of anonymity, a cloud gas was formed before fire similar to the one that formed in Uran in September. “The vehicle caught fire as soon as the ignition was turned on because there was a cloud of gas there,” the person said. The source added that the blaze was similar to the one reported from Uran. Although Divya Bhaskar has also claimed in its report that the shift in-charge at the site of the accident sent a cleaner boy employed by the public sector company to check the leakage, PSU Watch has not been able to ascertain the veracity of that claim. According to the sources, the three people involved in the accident were the farmer, the shift in-charge and a driver.

Alt= A video grab from the footage uploaded by Divya Bhaskar on its website shows the charred jeep.

What does the management say?

While no response has been received by PSU Watch from the PSU’s management, Divya Bhaskar has quoted the local PRO as saying, “In the wake of the incident, an inquiry has been ordered by the asset manager after visiting the incident site. Whose fault or negligence is in this can be stated only after the inquiry report. I cannot say at present for what reason the manager sent the cleaning worker.”