KARACHI - At least two people were killed and four others injured on Thursday when a massive fire broke out at Keamari oil terminal in Karachi suspending the petrol supply to other parts of the country.

Police said the bodies of two people who were working at the Keamari oil terminal at the time of the blaze were recovered and identified.

Both individuals were the tanker drivers and residents of the Kutchi Para neighbourhood nearby, an official of oil tankers association said. The inferno was brought under control after several hours.  Jackson police Station House Officer Malik Adil Khan initially said five employees of the private oil company were reportedly present when the fire broke out and the whereabouts of two of them were not known. However, the officer in the evening said two burnt bodies were recovered from the site.

The deceased were identified as Shahid and Salih Mohammed.

The fire was brought under control by 10-12 fire tenders of the Karachi Port Trust and KMC Fire Brigade after hectic efforts lasting around four hours, the officer added. In a statement, a spokesperson for Shell Pakistan Limited said the incident occurred as a PSO import line of 20 inches diameter “passing inside Shell Pakistan’s terminal 1” at Keamari caught fire.

They said authorities acted quickly to control the fire and emergency rescue services along with the Shell Pakistan team were present at the site and “extending their support in ensuring the safety of every personnel present at PSO terminal.”

An official of the KPT fire department said they received information about the blaze at about 1:05pm. The fire tenders managed to control the fire at 3:30pm, however, cooling work went well into the evening. The official said the exact cause of the blaze may become clear after experts submit their final report.

A spokesperson of the Edhi Foundation whose ambulances shifted the wounded to hospital said they had received serious burns. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Pakistan Rangers Sindh in a statement said that the fire had erupted in a petrol unit at Keamari oil terminal-1.

Rangers personnel along with rescue services reached the site of the “huge” fire and cordoned off the area, the statement said. It added that the paramilitary force’s members also took part in efforts to rescue the victims and control the fire. In order to extinguish the blaze, water tankers were summoned from the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board hydrants and fire tenders from the Fire Brigade, according to the press release.

Oil supply disrupted

All Pakistan Oil Tankers Association announced that it was suspending supply of petroleum products across the country after an oil terminal at Keamari caught fire. “We have suffered massive losses due to the fire,” said Senior Vice Chairman Oil Tankers Association Shams Shahwani. He added that they have removed their tankers from the terminal for now.

“We will assess the situation after the fire has been extinguished and then decide on restoring the supply,” said Shahwani. Earlier, Senior superintendent City Police Muqadas Haider said that they had stopped the fire from spreading further.

“We have called in more fire brigade tenders,” the police officer had said.

Meanwhile, traffic towards Keamari has also been diverted by placing a container on the road leading to the port.

The Pakistan Navy also announced that it has dispatched its team members, said a spokesperson. He added that the navy fire tenders were also taking part in the operation.

 

 

 

Personnel and fire tenders of the Pakistan Navy also assisted in efforts to control the fire, a Navy spokesperson said.

In the evening, South Deputy Inspector General Javed Akbar Riaz said the fire had been extinguished completely.

Karachi Commissioner Sohail Rajput ordered an inquiry into the blaze and appointed the additional commissioner-1 to ascertain its causes and fix responsibility. The inquiry officer has been asked to seek experts’ help to this effect, according to a press release.