Fighting a fire ‘in a cup’
Published: 01 January, 2008
A storage tank containing more than seven and half million litres of petrol in South Durban, South Africa, caught fire at the Engen refinery after it was apparently struck by lightning according to Engen refinery spokesperson Willem Oosthuizen.
The tank where the fire broke out did not have a solid top but a floating roof that rose or fell as it emptied or filled. It appears that the floating roof and seals had collapsed into the tank soon after the fire had begun, which meant that it was "a bit like fighting a fire burning in a cup". In an effort to prevent the fire spreading, adjacent tanks were being doused to keep them cool.