Visakhapatnam: A major fire broke out at state-owned HPCL refinery-cum-petrochemical complex here Friday evening, killing 4 persons and injuring 39 people.
The fire broke out at 4:40 pm and was brought under control after some time.
The injured are undergoing treatment in various hospitals, out of whom the condition of four persons was stated to be critical.
The injured were rushed to Navy's INHS Kalyani, which was located nearby, and other private hospitals here.
Most of the critically injured were shifted by the Navy paramedics to the private hospitals — six were admitted to Seven Hills Hospitals, six to Manipal Hospitals and one to Apollo Hospital, a spokesman said.
The victims being treated at Seven Hills are reported to have sustained over 75 per cent burns.
The fire broke out due to blast in the cooling tower due to short circuit.
After the explosion, eyewitnesses said, thick layer of smoke engulfed the area as survivors ran helter-skelter.
Around 50 workers of Bridge & Roof and Gopal Engineering were present in the area at the time.
A majority of the injured workers belonged a private firm working for the cooling tower.
A thick layer of smoke engulfed the area causing panic among nearby residents.
They said they heard a massive sound from the scene and plumes of smoke billowed out of the area.
The firm has shut part of its 166,000 barrel per day (bpd) Vizag refinery after the fire in the cooling tower.
A company source on Friday said the firm closed a fluid catalytic cracker (FCC) and a gasoline unit at the refinery, which sends most of its petroleum products to domestic markets.