A huge fire broke out at the Tondgooyan oil refinery in Southern Iran on Wednesday evening, a day after its Navy’s largest ship, a training and logistical vessel sunk in the Gulf of Oman after a mysterious blaze.
Head of the refinery’s public relations department has dismissed reports about an act of sabotage. Similarly, in the case of the fire on the ship, ‘Khark,’ the Navy ruled out sabotage but did not pin point the cause of the fire either.
Tehran’s crisis management organization claimed that a leak at a liquid gas pipeline at the facility sparked today’s fire.
This is the second fire at an oil refinery in two months. Earlier, three people were injured when the Abadan Refinery in Iran exploded due to “excessive heat” on May 22, 2021. The accident was reportedly caused by increasingly high temperatures around the presence of flammable materials, which resulted in a technical malfunction followed by an explosion, Iranian media reported.
Until 1980, the Abadan Refinery was the largest oil refinery in the world. Although it is the largest, oldest and most important Iranian oil refinery, it has experienced several accidents in recent years due to what Iranian authorities say is a “lack of safety measures.”
The refinery processes 400,000 barrels of heavy crude oil daily and turns it into petroleum products and derivatives.
The mysterious and frequent fires in Iran’s oil facilities raise suspicion of sabotage. Israel informed the United States it attacked the Iranian ship Saviz in the Red Sea on April 7, 2021 in retaliation for earlier Iranian strikes on Israeli vessels, the New York Times reported citing an American official.