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Explosion at one of Siberia’s largest refineries kills two, injures five

19 December 2022

An explosion and fire at the Rosneft-operated Angarsk refinery, the biggest by output in eastern Siberia, killed two workers and injured five others on December 15. The incident is the second to have occurred at the facility in a matter of weeks after a fire broke out in November.

Representative image: Shutterstock
Representative image: Shutterstock

The fatal explosion on December 15 occurred just after midnight and could be heard from as far as the city of Irkutsk, 28 miles (45km) away. The refinery said in a statement that the blast happened in a technological unit at the plant and that operations were unaffected. Local officials said two workers died at the scene while five others were taken to hospital with injuries.

A fire broke out and spread through parts of the facility, but was extinguished after a few hours, Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry said. An investigation has been opened and a criminal case is likely to be brought forward as is customary in Russia when two or more individuals die in an industrial incident.

The Angarsk Petrochemical Company, which is owned by Rosneft, operates the largest facility in eastern Siberia and one of Russia’s largest with a capacity of more than 10 million tonnes (200,000 barrels per day).

The incident happened just a few weeks after another incident at the Angarsk refinery. On November 27, a fire erupted at the plant although there were no reported fatalities or injuries.

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