August 2012

Safety, Security and Environment 2012 Supplement

Fire incident at Jaipur was a wakeup call

After the 2009 accident at Indian Oil's lubricants terminal, new safety standards were developed to help avoid future tragedies. The focus is as it should be, on people, process and technology.

Dutta, H., Oil Industry Safety Directorate

The 2009 fire incident at Indian Oil’s Jaipur petroleum oil lubricants (POL) terminal happened while reversing the hammer blind during transfer of POL to the pipelines. Unfortunately, while this reversal was taking place, the tank body’s motor operated valve (MOV) was open. The oil spillage and vapor cloud formation that followed resulted in a devastating fire and loss of property and human life. As per normal practice, the MOV should not have been kept open while reversing the hammer blind. The episode led to the loss of 11 lives and a property loss of around $60 million. The root cause of the incident revealed that plant personnel did not follow standard operating procedures.

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