UPDATE: Firefighting forces have managed to control the blaze at Haifa’s refinery that erupted Sunday morning. All nearby highways have been reopened to traffic.
A fire erupted Sunday morning in an oil tank at the refinery north of Haifa. Firefighting forces are rushing to the event. According to early reports, the fire is endangering nearby oil tanks. Routes 4 and 22 nearby have been closed to traffic.
The blaze at the refinery and its storage tanks represents one of Israel’s worst nightmare scenarios, which have moved generations of local mayors of Haifa and the suburban towns along the bay to its north to demand their removal from the area for fear that the hazardous materials would leak or that a fire there–possibly the result of Hezbollah rockets–would ignite the entire region.
The Sunday morning fire broke out near the country’s largest gas farm, which processes more than 80% of the gas sold in Israel.