A major fire broke out at Butcher Island, a loading hub for petroleum products near Mumbai, on Friday evening. Mumbai Port Trust spokesperson Rajendra Paibir said there were no casualties.
The blaze broke out in the island near the Elephanta Island in the Thane creek around 5.15 pm on Friday. It raged for several hours before it was brought under control. Although the flames are under control, the firefighting operation is still underway, ANI reported.
As a precaution, vessels that were near the Jawahar Dweep, as it is officially known, were asked to move away.
The blaze broke out in one fuel tank owned by the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, The Hindu reported. An initial investigation suggested that lightning may have caused the fire, BPCL Executive Director and Head of safety Manohar Rao said.
“The diesel was burning continuously, making it difficult to bring the fire under control,” Paibir said. “We asked BPCL to drain the diesel back to the refinery.”
Authorities of the port trust have already informed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s Disaster Management Unit, The Indian Express reported. The Indian Navy and Coast Guard were both monitoring the situation.
Paibir said mobile network problems on Butcher Island meant that all communication was via radio. “All employees have been evacuated, and the port’s firefighting experts are dealing with the situation,” he said.