KEMAMAN, July 7 ― Having to endure life-threatening hazards over the past three days did not dampen the spirits of 200 firefighters who were involved in the operations to extinguish the massive blaze which engulfed three Kemaman Bitumen Company’s (KBC) giant crude oil tanks.
In fact, some of them were first-timers in dealing with such a situation.
Kuala Nerus Fire and Rescue Station chief, Leading Fire Officer Yusmizan Yusoff conceded that it was the first time he had ever experienced such an incident despite having been serving for the Fire and Rescue Department for 16 years.
“Never before had I encountered such a huge fire… This is a very challenging experience both mentally and physically.
“The fear of having to deal with such a situation was there. However, all fear were gone once we received the instruction and donned the uniform. We became fearful again once we’re out of the burning area,” he told reporters at the KBC oil refinery in Telok Kalong here today.
For Senior Fire Officer II Razidi Abdul Rahim of the Paka Fire and Rescue Station, he was excited to be part of the firefighting operation in the largest oil tank blaze in Terengganu despite having the fear.
“We had the opportunity to learn more about firefighting techniques when dealing with the massive blaze from the incident at the KBC.
“We also need to be mentally and physically strong as we need to find a number of water resources, and have to go back and forth to get the firefighting foam,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mohd Zaiharis Sandar, 38, said they had to face a rather critical situation when there were a series of explosions resulting from the raging fire and strong winds.
We also had to deal with the massive blaze of up to 30 metres high on the first day of the incident, he said.
The fire broke out at 6.15pm last Thursday, involving three out of six oil tanks containing crude oil of more than 20,000 litres. ― Bernama