AHMEDABAD  - Three people were killed by a fire at an oil depot in the western Indian state of Gujarat, officials said on Sunday. One of the nine storage units of state-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) caught fire in Surat city on Saturday, said police officials, in a blaze which took firefighters 21 hours to bring under control. “The three victims were welders who were trapped in the inferno,” a police official said by telephone from Surat, some 270 kilometres (167 miles) from Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s main city.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known and Indian Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily, who visited the smouldering site, said an enquiry has been ordered. “A high level team has been constituted to investigate the cause of the fire and it has been asked to submit its report by January 20,” Moily told reporters. The weekend blaze at Surat is the second linked to the organisation since 2009 when a massive fire killed 11 people at an IOC storage facility in northern India.