Live footage of most tragic fire destruction in Birgunj gas plant has recently leaked on Facebook. A massive fire broke out at a gas factory in Sukhasaina, Birgunj, on Wednesday morning. The fire at Super Gas factory in Sukhasaina that started at around 6 am is still out of control.
Two firefighters, who reached the inferno site, are out of contact after the fire engulfed the fire engine of Birgunj Metropolitan City. The missing persons have been named as Madhu Sudan Mishra and Yadav Prasad Adhikari. Two others–a driver and a firefighter–were injured in the fire.
Another fire engine which reached to douse the fire had to return after it failed to get nearby. Teams of Nepal Army, Armed Police Force and Nepal Police have reached the site to douse the fire. Eyewitness said it is not possible to go anywhere near the fire due to huge flames.
Security personnel deployed at the site said they are unknown about the number of people working in the factory when the fire broke out. Continuous explosions of cooking gas cylinders and huge flames have hampered the rescue works.
Two firefighters died and two others suffered serious burn injuries in an LPG bottling plant fire at Sukhachaina in Birgunj Metropolis-22, Parsa, on Wednesday.
The fire at Super Gas Udhyog was caused by gas leakage while the workers were decanting LPG into the plant’s storage tank from a bullet at around 5am.
Diwakar Jha, the manager of the plant, said fire brigade of Birgunj Metropolis was contacted after the leak was detected, but the fire started before the firefighters could do anything.
Firefighter duo Madhu Sudan Mishra and Yadav Prasad Adhikari lost their lives after they were caught in the inferno, police said.
Two other firefighters Sanjib Nepal and Arun Kumar Mahato suffered serious burn injuries. They were airlifted to Kathmandu for treatment.
A fire engine was also detroyed in the blaze.
It is suspected that sparks created due to friction while fitting the hose pipe may have caught the leaked gas, causing the destruction.
“The firefighters were preparing to enter the plant when gas cylinders started exploding. Soon, the firefighters, who were preparing to douse the inferno, were encircled by flames,” said Santosh Patel, one of the workers at the plant.
It took nearly nine hours to contain the inferno.
Chief District Officer Binod Kumar Singh said the fire could not be put out quickly due to lack of firefighting equipment. “Despite the limitations, the firefighters and security personnel worked tirelessly to douse the fire and avert further destruction,” he said.
The damage caused by the fire is yet to be assessed.
The fire had prompted a massive evacuation of nearby areas, including Jagarnathpur, Sukhachaina, Bhawanipur, Maniyari and Bahuari. Fearful that the entire plant could explode, people fled to safety with their valuables and cattle in tow. Local schools also remained closed.
Security personnel and the plant workers could only enter the facility after the main blaze died out at around 1pm. They put out the flames, using fire extinguishers, wet jute sacks and sand. The gas bottling plant,established by Abbul Khair Ansari seven years ago, had been supplying LPG cylinders in Parsa, Bara and Dhanusha, among other central Tarai districts.
According to Nepal LP Gas Industry Association, the plant had been importing LPG from the Indian Oil Corporation’s depots in India by hiring gas bullets from Indian transporters.
The gas plant had 50 tonnes of the LPG in its underground storage tank at the time of the fire.
Meanwhile, the association has formed a five member committee, led by Shiva Prasad Ghimire, to investigate into the cause of the fire. “The committee will be carry out site inspection on Thursday to study about the incident,” said Gokul Bhadari, the president of the association.