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Last Updated: Friday, 29 October, 2004, 08:55 GMT 09:55 UK
Indian refinery blast injures 16
Sixteen workers have been injured in an explosion at an oil refinery near the western Indian city of Baroda.

The early morning blast at the Koyali refinery, in a gasoline refining unit, could be heard several kilometres away and started a fire.

The cause of the blast is not yet known, police said.

Only a small number of employees were on site as the plant was undergoing maintenance, officials said.

Shaken

Fire officials told the BBC that the fire was brought under control within two hours of the blaze.

The injured maintenance workers have been taken to hospital.

A statement from the Indian Oil Corporation, which owns the refinery, said 13 employees had been treated and released and three were being kept under observation.

"There was no panic in and around the refinery as the situation was brought under control immediately," the statement read.

BN Bankapor, executive director of the Indian Oil Corporation, told the Associated Press that the blast occurred in a fluidised catalytic cracker unit, which refines the crude oil.

The company hopes to restart the unit within three days

Sudhir Sinha, police commissioner in Baroda, said an investigation was under way.

"The economic losses will run into millions of rupees," Mr Sinha told the BBC.

Koyali, which refines 13.7m tonnes a year, is the biggest plant owned by Indian Oil, which is India's largest refiner.


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