The spectacular fire which devastated a refinery in Tehran was “brought under control” and left eleven injured, according to the authorities, but the fire was not yet defeated there Thursday afternoon after more than twenty hours of struggle. “Eleven people including nine firefighters fighting against the fire were injured,” said Mojtaba Khalédi, spokesperson for the national rescue service.
Among them, three firefighters, and one other person, were hospitalized, he added. In the morning, the official Irna agency reported that the fire had “been brought under control”. Irna had quoted a spokesperson for the Tehran Oil Refining Company, Chaker Khafai, predicting a “complete extinction. [du feu avant] midi ».
An investigation has been opened
But at 3:30 p.m., a column of dark smoke visible several kilometers away still rose above the scene of the disaster. However, it was noticeably thinner than the day before and in the morning. State television broadcast footage of the blaze and many fire crews working in the morning to put out the blaze.
According to authorities, the fire broke out at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday following an explosion caused by a leaking gas line, causing a huge blaze. An investigation has been opened. Only a few hundred meters from living quarters, the refinery is located in a large industrial area on the edge of the Tehran metropolitan area. According to Irna, it has been in service since 1968 and has a capacity of 250,000 barrels per day.
Frequent accidents in Iran
The fire came hours after the Iranian Navy announced the sinking in the Arabian Sea of one of its largest vessels following a fire on board for an undetermined reason. Industrial accidents are frequent in Iran.
Given the tensions between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Israel, some in the country tend to see every accident as the hand of Israeli services. But for others, US sanctions making it harder to maintain industrial infrastructure are a more compelling explanation.