The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Oil unit inferno doused

The fire that broke out in a coconut oil factory in Domjur, Howrah, on Tuesday evening was doused around 10 the next morning.

Nine fire tenders and more than 50 personnel fought 15 hours to bring the blaze at MS Palm Products Private Limited under control.

Coconut oil worth a few lakhs was lost in the fire, said an official. There were no injuries or casualties.

Sunil Ranjan Sikdar, the subdivisional officer (headquarters), said: “We shall find out whether the company had the clearance of the fire services department. Similar checks will be run on other oil-producing units on the Jalan Complex premises, where MS Palm Products is located.”

Sikdar said the firemen were handicapped in their operation as there was no reservoir in the complex.

“Besides, the ponds in the locality have been filled up. The nearest pond from where water could be fetched was three km away,” he added.

An officer said the fire broke out in the packaging section of the factory and spread quickly to the other wings. Fire tenders and 20 personnel reached the spot within half an hour and tried to douse the blaze.

But the effort proved inadequate and by 10.30pm, the entire factory resembled an inferno. Five more tenders and 30 additional personnel then joined the fire-fighting operation.

“At one point, it seemed the leaping flames would spread to some adjacent units. But constant spraying of water helped avert the disaster,” said a fire brigade official.

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