Gross negligence of duty, allegedly by some officials, including engineer (maintenance) and depot manager, of the state-run Jamuna Oil Company Ltd, caused the Friday’s fire at its oil depot in the city’s Patenga area.
At least nine employees of Jamuna Oil suffered burn injuries in the incident.
Though skilled personnel were supposed to be present on the spot, they remained absent during the risky work of installing automatic oil measurement instruments in place of manual ones in the oil depot, a Jamuna Oil official said on condition of anonymity, reports UNB.
Mentioning that such risky installation work should not have been carried out in the evening, he said the matter needs to be investigated.
Describing the probable effects of Friday’s fire incident, officials at Jamuna Oil and Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) said that if effective steps had not been taken in time to bring the fire under control, it could have caused havoc engulfing the adjoining oil depots of other oil companies. And the resulting damages could have been much more and brought disaster to the country’s oil sector, they added.
According to official record, three fire incidents had taken place at the state-run oil distributing company’s oil depot over the last one and a half year during the tenure of the incumbent depot manager due to negligence of officials.
Asked about the reasons behind the fire in the Jamuna Oil depot, a BPC official said the fire had originated from sparks while work was going on to install automatic oil measurement instruments in place of manual ones at the depot.
There are also allegations that inexperienced officials and contractors are employed in different works of the oil depots of Padma Oil and Meghna Oil companies in order to steal oil and earn money through corrupt practice.
On Saturday, the BPC formed a five-member committee headed by its director (marketing) SM Rezwan Hossain to investigate the fire incident and submit a report by Monday.