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ONGC fire: One more person succumbs, death toll reaches 2

Ahmedabad:  A helper, who was among 12 people injured in a blast and subsequent fire at an ONGC well in Surat district last month, died at a hospital in Mumbai, taking the death toll to two.

According to ONGC officials, helper Manhar Vankar breathed his last at a Mumbai-based hospital last evening.

Earlier, a crane operator of ONGC’s contractor, Sitaram, had succumbed to his injuries during treatment at the same hospital.

“Vankar was hired by the contracting agency to help Sitaram, who died few days back. Vankar had 60 per cent burn injuries.

Doctors told us that his health started deteriorating after the infection spread further into his body, resulted in his death,” an ONGC official said.

On April 18, a fire had broken out at Olpad-31 well when a blow-out preventer (BOP) was being repaired at the well located in Ankleshwar basin. When the ONGC team was working on the well to stop the leakage, a spark resulted in a huge blast and the gas coming out of the well caught fire.

At least 12 people, including employees of ONGC and its contractors, sustained burn injuries. While some of them were discharged, seven of the victims, having severe burn injuries, were referred to a hospital in Mumbai. Out of the seven, two have died during the last four days.

Of the remaining five, two are being treated in the ICU while three others, who are showing signs of recovery, have been shifted to normal rooms, the official said.

The fire at the Olpad well was brought under control on April 30, after 12 days of joint operation by ONGC as well as US-based oil and gas blow out control firm Boots & Coots.

Days later, the team successfully capped the gas leakage from the well, which is now under constant supervision, the official added.

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