PASNI: A man looks on as plumes of flame and black smoke rise from a fire that broke out in oil depots in the Kotani area on the coast of Jiwani, near the border with Iran.—Dawn
PASNI: A man looks on as plumes of flame and black smoke rise from a fire that broke out in oil depots in the Kotani area on the coast of Jiwani, near the border with Iran.—Dawn

GWADAR: A massive fire caused by a short circuit on Wednesday morning gutted oil depots and speedboats carrying smuggled petrol and diesel at a coast in the Jiwani town of Gwadar district.

The fire, later put out in the evening, did not result in any deaths or injuries, officials said. It broke out after a short circuit in a power generator and soon engulfed nearby oil depots and speedboats docked at the site in the Kontani area of Jiwani, a town located near the Iranian border.

The blaze spread fast in a matter of minutes and couldn’t be doused for hours in the absence of fire brigades.

Videos shared on social media showed towering plumes of orange flames and black smoke rising from the site as a crowd of onlookers watched from a distance. Some people could be seen rolling large cubic containers in an attempt to salvage them from fire.

“The fire engulfed four oil depots and at least seven speedboats parked at the Jiwani coastline,” said Ezzat Nazeer, deputy commissioner of Gwadar, who visited the site after receiving information about the incident.

The large oil depots contained several thousand litres of petrol and diesel and must have caused losses worth millions of rupees to the owners, the deputy commissioner said.

The depots were built on the Kontani coast close to the Iranian border to dump petrol and diesel being brought from the neighbouring country through speedboats and other vehicles.

The smuggled oil is brought from Iran via speedboats in 70-litre cans and then converted to large containers at these depots.

Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2022

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