Balasore, Oct. 19: Security was beefed up at the oil depot of Indian Oil Corporation Limited at Somnathpur on the outskirts of the town after a providential escape from a major fire mishap yesterday.
Yesterday, a driver, Lal Bahadur Singh, 52, suspected to be in an inebriated state, drove a tanker into the depot’s prohibited zone at high speed after knocking down the two entry and exit gates. The lorry came to halt after having hit a pole just before colliding with another fuel-loaded vehicle.
Singh got stuck inside the damaged vehicle and was pulled out by other drivers and staff of the depot. He is undergoing treatment at the district headquarters hospital for fracture in his right leg.
“The incident could have triggered a major fire disaster. Breaking the gates, the driver made a forceful entry on the premises at high speed and drove into the prohibited zone. He was going to hit another loaded tanker near the filling point, but fortunately it was stuck after having collided with a pole,” said senior depot manager Mukul Bhattacharya.
Bhattacharya said Singh was an unauthorised driver. “I have lodged a police complaint. The security at the depot has been tightened. We have requested the police for patrolling,” he said. Inspector in-charge of Industrial police station Jaswant Samal said a case had been registered under sections 447, 379, 307 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3 of the Prevention of Destruction of Public Property Act.
“This incident could have led to a big mishap. We are investigating into the incident,” sub-divisional police officer Kailash Chandra Parida.