Firefighters put down fire at oil storage place in 17-hour operation

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2018-10-08 11:06 Updated : 2018-10-08 11:06
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[Yonhap News Photo]

SEOUL -- Hundreds of firefighters, backed by helicopters and other equipment, launched a risky overnight operation to put down a massive blaze that engulfed a gasoline tank at one of South Korea's four fuel storage places.

The fire began at 10:56 am (0156 GMT) Sunday in a cluster of oil storage tanks in Goyang, a northwestern satellite city of Seoul, sending black smoke and noxious fumes up into the sky for 17 hours until the blaze was put under control almost four hours after midnight.

There were no casualties because the fire broke out one kilometer away from the nearest apartment complex, but many residents had been scared because the place run by Daehan Oil Pipeline Corp. has 20 tanks packed with oil products.

The exact cause was not known, but firefighters said oil gas might have triggered an uncontrollable explosion at an 8.5-meter high tank filled with 4.4 million liters of gasoline. Firefighters spent a huge amount of fire-fighting materials to stop the blaze from spreading.

Across South Korea, Daehan operates four storage places connected through a web of pipelines that stretched some 1,200 kilometers (744 miles) from two coastal oil production bases in Ulsan and Yeosu. Government officials said the fire would not seriously affect South Korea's overall oil consumption.