Large fire in Suez following explosion at Nasr Petroleum

A huge fire engulfed the Nasr Petroleum refinery in Suez on Saturday afternoon, killing at least one and leaving four injured, Al-Ahram’s website reported.

Fire trucks and ambulances arrived on the scene after company workers reported hearing a series of loud explosions, after which a fire broke out in one of the large  tanks, the state-sponsored newspaper said.

Within an hour after the explosion a massive black cloud could be seen miles away from the plant.

Nasr Company disaster teams, in addition to naval units and police forces, were still trying to get the blaze under control as of Saturday evening.  Citizens feared the fire might also spread to the Suez Petroleum Company’s refinery, also located in the city.

Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, deployed air force planes to encircle the area and help put out the fire, at the request of General Sidqi Sobhi, commander of the Third Army.  The company’s president, Kamal Safaan, called on the government to deploy armed forces to save the city of Suez.

It is not known what initially caused the fire, but some workers at the refinery reported that  they saw a car burning shortly before the explosion of the first butane tank.

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