Huge fire overwhelms oil refinery in Iraq

(MENAFN) In the pre-dawn hours of Thursday, a massive fire erupted within an oil refinery in Erbil province, the capital of the Kurdistan region. The Iraqi Civil Defense Forces promptly responded to the emergency, deploying an extensive fleet of 36 fire trucks to battle the rapidly spreading flames and avert a potential catastrophe.

A spokesperson from the civil defense in Erbil conveyed to the Jordan News Agency (Petra) that the fire was ignited by an unexpected explosion of one of the oil tankers within the refinery, which is located in the Al-Gwair area, south of Erbil. This initial explosion set off a chain reaction, causing the fire to engulf the refinery's storage tanks. The situation further deteriorated as the fire spread to additional tanks, triggering more explosions and intensifying the inferno.

This particular area, situated south of Erbil, is densely populated with hundreds of warehouses and oil refineries involved in the extraction and refining of black oil. The concentration of flammable materials and the extensive infrastructure has made the firefighting efforts exceptionally difficult. The spokesperson highlighted that the primary focus of the firefighting teams is to contain the fire and prevent it from reaching and igniting nearby refineries, which could lead to an even greater disaster.

During the strenuous efforts to control the blaze, eight civil defense personnel sustained injuries and suffered from smoke inhalation. Despite these challenges, the firefighting teams remain steadfast in their mission to extinguish the fire and protect the surrounding facilities from further damage. The dedication and bravery of these teams are crucial in mitigating the impact of this devastating incident.



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