Hyderabad, Aug 23: One person was killed and over 30 others injured in a huge fire that broke out Friday at Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) refinery in Andhra Pradesh’s coastal city of Visakhapatnam.
The fire engulfed a block of the refinery after an explosion in cooling tower Friday evening, eye witnesses said. Thick smoke billowing out of the expansion phase of the facility enveloped the area, making the rescue work difficult.
Over 30 injured were taken to various hospitals in the city. The condition of many injured is stated to be critical.
Tribal Welfare Minister P. Balaraju visited the scene and spoke to officials. He directed the authorities to ensure better treatment facilities for the injured.
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy expressed anguish over the accident and asked the officials to submit a detailed report at the earliest. “He conveyed his sympathies to the bereaved families,” said a statement from the chief minister’s office.
Kiran Reddy directed Visakhapatnam district collector and police commissioner to take up rescue operation and provide all medical assistance to the injured in coordination with the HPCL management.