Sambalpur, Feb 2:
A major fire at the Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) power plant at Chiplima on Sunday evening caused extensive damage to the plant and machinery, besides disrupting power supply in a vast stretch of area in the district.
The fire broke out after a blast in the oil tank of the 12 MVA high power transformer around 7 pm in the evening, sources in the plant said. The fire spread rapidly and soon engulfed a second transformer nearby causing a second blast in seconds, they said.
There was complete chaos in the plant premises as panicky staff ran helter and skelter after the twin blasts. Senior plant officials rushed to the spot and called in the fire tenders. But the two fire tenders pressed into service had not been able to contain the fire till as late as 10 pm.
The entire area has been cordoned off and nobody is being allowed in.
“Efforts to extinguish the fire are still on,” senior plant official Er. Debashish Mishra said.
Apart from Chiplima, Goshala, Godbhaga, Larambha, Ulunda and Chandbahal have been plunged into total darkness following disruption of power generation at the plant. There is no word yet on when power supply to these areas would be restored.
Sparks had been detected in the 12 MVA transformer, said to be the main supply outlet for power generated in the plant, in the recent past, but were left unattended by callous officials leading to Sunday’s fire, sources in the plant said.