Two killed in oil pipeline blast, 60 houses set ablaze

Tinsukia (Assam), May 14 : Two persons were killed and 60 houses razed to the ground by a devastating fire following an oil pipeline blast in the Digboi refinery of Indian Oil Corporation, official sources said here.

The blast took place in the pipeline inside the NDC plant, one of the oldest refineries in Asia, early wednesday morning, killing its operator Basab Bhattacharjee and a contractor's employee Kamal Gogoi.

The blast led to a fire, which quickly spread to the nearby residential Moliabari area, gutting 60 houses, but there was no report of any casualty.

Several fire tenders fought for several hours to bring the fire under control but it was ultimately heavy rains that doused the fire.

The cause of the blast was suspected to be due to poor maintenance of the pipeline but officials are yet to confirm it though they ruled out the possibility of sabotage.

The extent of the damage is yet to be ascertained and the affected families have been moved to safer places, sources added.