Mumbai: State-run Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd (BPCL) shut a hydrocracker unit at its Chembur refinery in Mumbai on Wednesday evening following a fire that left 40 people injured, Reuters quoted a top company official as saying. “We have shut the hydrocracker and assessment will be done on Thursday to know how long we need to keep it shut," R. Ramachandran, head of refineries, told Reuters. The remaining units are operating normally, he added.

A major fire broke out at BPCL refinery complex in Chembur at 3pm. It was brought under control by evening after intervention by Mumbai’s and the refinery’s fire departments, the Press Trust of India reported. About 21 people were injured in the BPCL fire, a BMC official was quoted by PTI. They were taken to nearby civil hospitals.

The BPCL fire was graded a Level III fire requiring immediate evacuation, according to Mumbai fire regulations. Fire and smoke were seen emanating from the refinery. No casualties have been reported so far. Seven fire engines, two foam tenders, and two jumbo tankers have been rushed to the refinery complex.

The fire was sparked in the compressor shed of the hydrocracker plant, a BPCL statement said.

“A fire occurred at BPCL Mumbai Refinery at Mahul plant today at around 14:45hrs. The fire was in the compressor shed of Hydrocracker plant. The fire is being fought by the refinery fire-fighting team. The fire is still on but is under control. There has been minor injury sustained by two people who are being attended to at the hospital," said the BPCL statement. Fire Brigade chief P.S. Rahangdale said the fire-fighting operation was made difficult by heat and pressure inside the plant.

Some residents of Chembur took to twitter saying the blast was so intense that it sent shock waves to buildings in the vicinity. “Its tremors shook windows of our building which is 500 metre away from the refinery," Chembur resident Santosh Aadhar said.

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