Afghan Governor: 98% of Wild Fire Extinguished with Iran’s Cooperation

Governor of Herat Province in Afghanistan Seyed Vahid Qatali said on Monday that 98% of the huge fire which had engulfed the customs office in Islam Qala has been put out in cooperation with Iran.

“Immediately after the fire broke out in Herat customs office, the President, First Vice President and National Security Advisor of Afghanistan ordered necessary measures to be taken in coordination with Iran in Herat province, and the huge fire was controlled with efforts of the officials in both Herat and Mashhad (in Northeastern Iran) provinces,” Qatali told reporters on Monday.  

He added that 2,500 vehicles were on parked in the fire zone at Islam Qala customs office at the time of the incident, adding that the fire was caused due to a technical problem in a gas tanker.

He said 85% of the vehicles were taken away from the area in cooperation with Iran, while the remaining vehicles burned.

Qatali voiced gratitude to the Islamic Republic of Iran, and said, “Extinguishing the fire at Herat customs office was beyond the capabilities of the local administration of Herat. At present 98% of the fire has been put out.” “The fire will be extinguished completely by the end of Monday.”

He added that only 17 people were injured in the fire incident at Herat customs office, 5 of whom were transferred to Iran for treatment.

A provincial official had announced on Sunday that Iranian and Afghan firefighters have put out fire at a customs post in Herat province of Afghanistan near the border with Iran.

“The Iranian firefighters and rescue workers have been deployed at the fire area since yesterday and the fire has been extinguished,” Director-General of Crisis Management Department of Iran’s Khorassan Razavi province Governor-General Office Mohsen Nejat told FNA.

He added that the governor of Khorassan Razavi province and the governor of Herat held a meeting at the bordering areas last night.

Nejat said that the huge fire at Islam Qala customs office did not inflict any damage on the people and equipment on the Iranian side of the border, noting that the Iranian rescue workers and emergency units in Khorassan Razavi were also in full alert since Saturday as a precautionary measure.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that Iran has taken measures to help those affected and potentially injured in the recent blast in the Afghanistan-Iran border, and contact is underway between the relevant authorities of the two countries.

“ٍIran’s border was kept open to trucks, cars, and people who had fled to Iran’s borders to escape the fire,” Khatibzadeh underlined.

In relevant remarks on Saturday, Border Guards Commander of Khorasan Razavi Brigadier General Majid Shoja underlined that his forces were on high alert in the explosion-hit area and there were no problems in terms of the facilities and equipment needed.

“The explosion of fuel tankers at a customs post in Afghanistan’s border town of Islam Qala near the Iranian border Saturday noon has not caused any loss of life or financial damage in Iran’s Dogharoun border crossing,” he said.

“Iran also dispatched rescue team to the area as asked by Herat governor,” he added. 

A fuel tanker exploded at the Islam Qala crossing causing a massive fire that consumed more than 500 trucks carrying natural gas and fuel.

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