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Assam's River Is Still Burning, Three Days After Fire Caused By Crude Oil Spill
An ‘instrumentation failure’ at a centre of Oil India Limited (OIL) in Assam resulted in ‘puncture pipelines’, which led to a massive fire on the Burhi Dihing river in the Dibrugarh district of Assam. According to reports, the fire broke out a couple of days ago and is still raging. However, according to a senior OIL official the situation is not that critical.“All oil collecting stations process and crude oil finally reached our central tank pump. From there, it is pumped to Digboi on one side and rest of India on the other side. At the central tank pump, there was an instrumentation failure due to which the valves got locked. As such, the crude oil, which was being pumped into from various stations, could not enter the central pump tank. So, a reverse pressure was built in the entire pipeline network. In one or two areas, the pipeline could not resist the pressure and it punctured,” TNIE quoted the official as saying. According to him, after the puncture, some amount of crude oil was spilled which fell into a drain and merged with the river. He speculated that somebody must have thrown a lighted match stick or something like that at the site and it caught fire.