Eight months after a devastating fire at an Indian Oil Corp (IOC) fuel depot here killed 11 people, police today arrested 9 senior company officials including its General Manager for the state on charges of criminal negligence.
IOC General Manager for Rajasthan Gautam Bose and 8 other officers were arrested under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including section 304-II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), Inspector General (Jaipur Zone) B L Soni said.
Section 304-II of IPC carries a maximum prison term of 10 years.
Those arrested in connection with the October 29 fire caused by leakage of petrol during transfer from storage tank, included chief of operations at IOC's Jaipur depot, Rajesh Sayal.
11 persons were killed and 45 injured in the fire that was blamed on human error by an expert group headed by former Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL) Chairman M B Lal.
IOC officials were called by the police for questioning in connection with the incident and were later arrested.
The arrested officials are likely to apply for bail in a local court on July 3.
Soni said all of the officers were arrested at Sanganer Sadar police station after being quizzed by police in the case registered by a private firm Genus Company, Soni said.
Additional Superintendent of Police Yogesh Goyal, who is investigating the case, said Bose, who is currently posted in Mumbai, was called for interrogation along with 8 other officials.
The others arrested are Shashank Shekhar, Manager Operation, K S Kanojia, senior terminal manager, Arun Poddar, Manager Terminal, Kapil Goyal, Deputy Manager Terminal, Ashok Gupta, operation officer, Kailash Nath Agarwal, Chargeman, and S S Gupta, DGM Pipeline who is presently posted in Ghaziabad, he said.
Lal in his report to the Central Government had stated that IOC personnel at the Jaipur depot did not observe "normal safety procedure."
He said gross negligence during transfer of fuel from storage tank resulted in a 10-12 metre fountain of petrol spreading vapours over a 250 metre radius for 75 minutes before a spark caused by start of two-wheeler or kitchen within the radius triggered the fire that engulfed the entire depot.
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