Relief Work: IOC Jaipur Depot Fire

November 5, 2009

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) was on the go after receiving first information. A team visited the SMS Hospital under the leadership of State President Engineer Muhammad Saleem. There was a number of injured being brought from the site of incident. Jamaat’s team helped them in many ways. Meanwhile, another team of Jamaat’s volunteers headed towards the IOC depot where they found many people fleeing in search of safety. While the injured were being carried away to the hospitals by ambulances and some public volunteers, they chose to carry people to safer places. Many a people had no choice where to go, hence they were brought to Pratap Nagar where Jamaat opened a camp, with the help of a local Human Development Society, for these displaced people, most of whom were laborers working in the nearby factories.

First night, 70 people stayed in the camp where they were provided with food along with shelter and medical assistance to the ill. A combined delegation of JIH Rajasthan and Human Development Society, comprising Rajasthan State President of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Engineer Muhammad Saleem , Muhammad Nazimuddeen, Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, Human Development Society President Shamsuddeen, Er. Rashid Husain, Iftikhar Ahmad, Hafiz Jamshed Ali and Nafees Ahmad, visited the site of incident and the adjacent colonies and convinced the people who were leaving their houses for safer places to hold and remain in their houses till the administrative authorities tell them to do so. Mr. Saleem, in his statement given to a TV channel, appealed people not to give in to the hoaxes and rumors, as the miscreants and thieves might take the advantage of vacant houses. The third day news of prevalent thefts added to the misery of the people fled after fire.

Second day, about 200 people came to the camp after announcement in Jumaa prayer. Third day this number was about 300 which grew to 350 the fourth day. People took shelter in the camp till morning of the sixth day. On Tuesday, 3rd Nov, the Jamaat and the Society gave some rice and wheat flour along with Rs. 150 each to the remaining people, while they were leaving the camp to go to their respective employers.

At about 7:37 pm on Thursday, the 3rd November 2009, panic gripped the city of Jaipur, when the oil tanks of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) terminal at Sitapura Industrial area, began to blow one after another. Massive fire broke out within moments and spread to the nearby factories. More than 200 people were injured and rushed to the nearby Mahatma Gandhi and Star hospitals and to the Sawai Maan Sing and other hospitals of the city. Till late night, only three people were declared dead, while the locals insisted that there must be more than a hundred people inside the oil depot, who are still missing.

Total 12 tanks containing 7000 kiloliters of petrol, 24000 kiloliters of diesel and 1000 kiloliters of kerosene, blew one after other in three days. The traffic was stopped all around within 25 km of the place of incident. Adjacent villages and colonies within 5 km were evacuated and the police surrounded the entire area. The 25 mm thick oil tanks melted and collapsed like thin tin containers, then melted away like wax in more than 1500 ok temperature. The inferno rose so high that it was visible from more than 5 kilometers away. The death toll according to the official reports was 12 in total, while the local residents were sure that it must be far more than stated.

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