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Fire at Iranian refinery kills at least one person, injures several more

12 March 2024

A fire broke out during maintenance at the Aftab refinery in the Iranian city of Bandar Abbas on 7 March. There were contradictory reports on the number of fatalities and injuries from Iranian state news, however several local news sites reported that one person was confirmed to have died and at least three were injured.

Representative image: Shutterstock
Representative image: Shutterstock

While not reporting specific numbers, some news sites said “several” people were killed. Iranian state news agency IRNA said an official investigation had been opened into the incident which reportedly happened during maintenance work at the site.

A 37-year old man was confirmed to have died at the scene while at least three others were taken to hospital, one of which was in a serious condition. The refinery’s operator said in a statement on 8 March that there was no major damage to the facility and that all the injured were being treated in hospital and were in a stable condition.

The incident was the second incident to have happened at the refinery in the last six months. In July 2023, eight firefighters were injured while battling a fire that broke out on two oil tanks at a nearby tank farm. At a separate refinery in Bandar Abbas, one person was killed and four were injured after a gas leak during emergency repairs in September 2023.

Iran’s Oil Ministry said that the blast occurred late at night while maintenance workers had been conducting emergency repairs in one of the process units at the refinery. Process safety incidents are not uncommon in Iran. The Iranian government has blamed sanctions placed on the country as well as extremely warm summers for continued safety incidents.

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