New blaze at Iran petrochemical factory; no one hurt

The Associated Press


TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A new fire erupted on Thursday at an Iranian petrochemical factory in the southwestern oil-rich province of Khuzestan after firefighters put out a blaze earlier in the day at the facility, Iran's official news agency reported.

IRNA said an oil tank caught fire later in the day and was burning at the Bou Ali Sina factory in the southern port of Mahshahr. The report said firefighters had managed to put out fires at a production unit and two oil tanks earlier in the day.

The report quoted Abdolrasoul Dashti, a spokesman for the company, as saying the fire will continue until the contents of the tank burn off completely. No casualties have been reported since the fire first started on Wednesday.

Workers from the site and neighboring factories have been evacuated as a precautionary measure. An investigation was underway to determine the cause of the fire.

The factory, affiliated to Iran's state-owned National Petrochemical Company, opened in 1998. The area is home to dozens of small and large petrochemical factories, and fires are occasionally reported.

Petrochemical products account for 33 percent of Iran's non-crude exports. The country's petrochemical exports currently bring $1.2 billion per month. Iran also exports nearly 2 million barrels of crude oil per day.

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