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Iran plant blaze not act of sabotage: Minister of petroleum

8 July 2016 14:59



Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh says a raging blaze at a petrochemical plant in southwest Iran has not been caused as a result of an act of sabotage.

The Iranian minister has traveled to the site of the blaze at the industrial zone of Mahshahr in Khouzestan Province to personally supervise attempts to extinguish the fire, which erupted in the Bou Ali Sina plant of the zone on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Zangeneh said the blaze was not caused as a result of an act of sabotage and rather erupted due to technical issues, Fars news agency reported.

Meanwhile, people in Saudi Arabia and some of its allied countries have taken to social media to express joy that such an incident has happened in Iran. Zangeneh described such behavior as “unfortunate.”

“Unfortunately, certain neighboring countries have expressed joy following the [eruption] of the blaze,” he said, adding, “A Muslim country shall not rejoice at the harm done to another Muslim country and shall [rather] express sadness.”

Fire is seen raging on a tank at the Bou Ali Sina plant at the industrial zone of Mahshahr in Khouzestan Province.

The blaze started with an explosion in a key tower of the plant — the tallest in the Middle East.

There have also been conflicting reports on the number of casualties. Some reports initially said several people had been killed in the incident while others said there had been no casualties.

Firefighting teams from Khouzestan Province as well as neighboring provinces are fighting the blaze and have managed to prevent it from spreading to the nearby tanks at the plant.

Zangeneh denied rumors that the city of Mahshahr has been evacuated, saying that he is currently stationed at a distance of 200 meters from the blaze and is supervising the efforts of professional firefighting teams to put out the fire.

“God willing,” he said, “there will be complete success, soon.”

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