Dealers fear fuel shortage after Nowshera depot fire

Published May 2, 2022
NOWSHERA: Firefighters try to battle a massive fire that broke out in an oil tanker terminal on Saturday. Police said one person was injured in the inferno, which also gutted at least 20 tankers.—AFP
NOWSHERA: Firefighters try to battle a massive fire that broke out in an oil tanker terminal on Saturday. Police said one person was injured in the inferno, which also gutted at least 20 tankers.—AFP

PESHAWAR: The dealers have expressed apprehensions that the fire incident at Tarujaba oil depot in Nowshera district on Saturday can affect supply of fuel to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Sarhad Petroleum and Cartage Dealers Association provincial chairman Abdul Majid Khan said that the fire apparently broke out due to short-circuit at a vehicle parked in the yard. “Short-circuit apparently caused the blaze,” he told Dawn on Sunday.

He said that the fire gutted 49 oil tankers. Each tanker carried more than 50,000-litre oil and estimated loss of fuel was up to Rs1.50 billion, he said. He added that most of the owners of tankers belonged to southern districts, especially Lakki Marwat.

Mr Khan said that there would be no fuel supply from Karachi to Peshawar at least for eight days due to Eid holidays and as a result the Tarujaba oil depot might run short of fuel.

Ask govt to announce safety mechanism to prevent such incidents

He said that government should announce safety mechanism to ensure that all the fuel carrying vehicles were safe and equipped with fire extinguishers at least to avert such incidents at initial stage.

Sources said that majority of the tanker drivers belonged to southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They said that the drivers parked the vehicles at the depot and left for hometowns otherwise maximum of the tankers could be saved. They added that price of each tanker was about Rs30 million.

According to Rescue 1122 sources, they got the information about fire at about 4pm on Saturday. All fire tenders and fire extinguishers available in Peshawar were sent to the spot but they were insufficient to control such huge blaze, they said.

They said fire engines from the adjoining districts of Nowshera, Charsadda and Mardan were also called for backup.

At the time of incident, sources said, there were about 100 oil tankers at the parking lot but the local people, drivers and rescuers jointly broke backside wall and saved some of the vehicles. They added that fire had been controlled till midnight but it again broke out in one of the tanker on Sunday morning.

Rescue 1122 officials said that 25 firefighting machines were engaged in the operation.

They said in a statement that water and foam were used to extinguish the fire. They added that the operation lasted for six hours.

Published in Dawn, May 2nd, 2022

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