Big fire extinguished in a refinery near Tehran
Huge plumes of smoke rise from a main oil refinery south of Tehran, Iran on Thursday, June 3, 2021. A massive fire broke out at the oil refinery serving the Iranian capital on Wednesday evening, sending fire ‘thick plumes of black smoke over Tehran. (Ebrahim Noroozi / AP)
TEHRAN, Iran – A huge fire that broke out at an oil refinery near the Iranian capital and sent a huge plume of black smoke across the sky over Tehran was extinguished on Thursday, after more than 20 hours, reported a Press Agency.
The semi-official ISNA agency quoted the country’s deputy petroleum minister, Alireza Sadeghabadi, as saying the blaze was first fully contained and then finally extinguished.
“The courageous actions of the firefighters (…) led to the complete extinction of the fire and prevented the flames from spreading to other tanks nearby,” said Sadeghabadi, thanking the firefighters.
The fire broke out on Wednesday evening in the state-owned Tondgooyan Petrochemical Co., south of Tehran. Oil Ministry’s SHANA news agency said this was due to a leak in two waste tanks at the facility. Authorities initially suggested the flames hit a liquefied petroleum gas pipeline at the refinery.
Tehran Fire Department spokesman Jalal Maleki told state television that 10 fire stations, including 60 heavy vehicles and more than 180 firefighters, participated in the firefighting operation.
Tehran’s head of emergency medical services Payman Saberian said 11 people were injured, including four in hospitals, ISNA reported.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh attended the scene overnight. While seeking to assure the public that the fire would not affect production, the Iranians lined up for gasoline on Thursday morning, the start of the weekend in the Islamic Republic.
Earlier, SHANA also quoted Shaker Refinery spokesman Khafaei as saying that authorities hoped the blaze would go out on its own after running out of fuel in the next few hours.
Temperatures in Tehran reached nearly 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) on Wednesday. The hot summer weather in Iran has caused fires in the past.
The blaze came the same day a fire hit Iran’s largest naval warship, which then sank in the Gulf of Oman.