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EXPLOSION AT IRAN REFINERY AS AHMADINEJAD VISITS


TEHRAN, May 24 — An explosion at an Iranian oil refinery during a visit by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today killed two people and injured 12, the Mehr news agency said.
Ahmadinejad was not hurt, and appeared on state television shortly after the blast giving a speech marking the inauguration of a new part of the Abadan refinery.
  • The semi-official Mehr said the cause of the blast and fire was a gas leak, giving no source for its information.
  • Thick smoke was seen rising from the refinery in Abadan, south-western Iran, close to the Iraqi border, but firefighters had the blaze under control, Iranian news agencies said. A plane was sent to evacuate the injured to a Tehran hospital.
  • Iranian media said the blast was caused by a technical fault, and did not speculate on the possibility of an attack.

Any damage to the plant at Abadan would have no impact on oil exports from the world’s fifth-biggest exporter as it is involved in producing petroleum, not the production of crude.But the blast is a blow to Iran’s drive to become self-sufficient in petrol as international sanctions have squeezed its ability to import the automotive fuel.

Source: Reuters

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