Photo Credit: Tasnim News Agency
Fire at ‘Shahid Tondgooyan’ Petrochemicals in southwestern Iran, July 12 2020

An explosion caused a fire Sunday late afternoon at a major petrochemical plant in southwestern Iran, but production was interrupted for only a short time, according to the semi-official Tasnim News Agency.

The incident allegedly began with a fire caused by an oil leak at one of the gas tanks in the plant which led to an explosion, according to IRNA, quoting Mohsen Beyranvand, governor of Mahshahr province.

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The local fire chief told ILNA (Iranian Labor News Agency) the explosion caused a large amount of damage to the company and to a neighboring company as well, but caused no casualties.

An investigation into the cause is underway.

A spokesperson for Shahid Tondgooyan Petrochemicals said that ‘technical problems’ had caused installations at one of the factories of the sprawling complex to catch fire earlier in the day.

Hamid Kiaei claimed ‘hot summer weather’ in the port of Mahshahr, Iran’s main hub of petrochemical industry on the Persian Gulf, ‘was also to blame’ for the incident.

“Currently, the production of the company is continuing without any damage or interruption,” Kiaie told IRIB News.

Press TV quoted Iranian media reporting the fire erupted at the PTA2 unit of the Tondgooyan complex on Sunday evening at 5:15 pm local time after separation funnels in the facility were affected by a hot oil leak, Tasnim said.

“Local authorities in Khuzestan, the Iranian province where many petrochemical and oil production facilities are located, denied fires such as the one reported Sunday could have been set deliberately,” Tasnim added.

The blaze at Tondgooyan plant came less than a week after a gas leak in Karoon Petrochemical Complex, located in the same region, left some 70 people with injuries caused by smoke inhalation.

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