Five injured in Oil India logging truck inferno

Vol 20, PW 23 (10 Aug 17) People & Policy

Health and safety has moved to the top of Oil India's agenda after three workers and two engineers were wounded in a fire in a US-made Artex well-logging truck in the afternoon of August 3.

This accident happened during a workover operation at well NKH-584 near Joypur town around 15-km from Duliajan. Reports suggest the "freak accident" was caused by an air-conditioner catching fire in the five-year old truck.

"They (the workers) have burn injuries and will recover but it is going to take a long time," confirms an Oil India source. Three of the injured, among them the two engineers were first moved to a hospital at Dibrugarh city, then transported in separate air ambulances to Delhi's Apollo hospital.

Two others with minor burns were discharged and are recovering. All five were inside the Rs30cr ($4.7m) truck when the explosion took place.

"Had the explosion affected the equipment it could have been worse because of explosives nearby," adds a source. Well-logging involves the use of high-grade explosives for controlled subsurface explosions.

After the accident an electrical engineer from the Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) rushed to Duliajan from Sitarampur in West Bengal on August 4 to investigate, joined by a mining engineer on August 7. Oil India general manager (health and safety) AK Acharya is also conducting an inquiry and will submit his report to the DGMS.

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