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Three killed as India oil depot burns

By Harmeet Shah Singh, CNN
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Oil depot burns in India
  • NEW: Three people killed as fire rages at Indian oil depot
  • A further six workers are also missing at depot in western India
  • Blaze in Jaipur in Rajasthan state apparently erupted from a pipeline
  • Civilians living nearby taken to safe places according to depot spokesman

New Delhi, India (CNN) -- Three people were killed and six others were missing in a massive fire at an oil depot in north-western India, authorities said Friday.

The blaze, raging since Thursday evening, also left 45 people injured, five of them seriously, the oil ministry said.

Indian Oil Minister Murli Deora inspected the burning depot near Jaipur in Rajasthan state.

"Our six employees are not traceable," said N. Srikumar, a spokesman for the Indian Oil Corporation.

Indian authorities launched an investigation into the blaze, which Srikumar said apparently erupted from a pipeline.

The depot had about 426,084 barrels (50,000 kiloliters) of oil at the time of fire, he added.

"Civilians living nearby have been taken to safer places," Srikumar said. He didn't offer specifics about the numbers of evacuees.

According to the Oil Ministry, the fire was not "contained" to the depot's installation area and was expected to burn itself out as fuels burned out slowly.

The Indian Oil Corporation and its subsidiaries account for about 48 percent of petroleum-product market share and 34 percent of refining capacity in India, according to the company Web site.