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Massive fire suppressed at a southern Lebanon oil complex

On Monday, a massive fire broke out in a storage tank at one of Lebanon’s main oil facilities in the country’s south, sending orange flames and a thick black column of smoke into the sky.

State-run According to the National News Agency, it was not immediately clear what caused the fire, which was still raging more than two hours after it started. Firefighters rushed to the scene and were battling the blaze in a massive gasoline tanker in Zahrani, a coastal town.

According to the report, no workers were nearby when the fire started. Lebanese troops shut down the main highway that connects Beirut to southern Lebanon and passes through Zahrani.

Zahrani Oil Installation is located approximately 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of Beirut. It is near one of Lebanon’s main power plants, which shut down two days ago due to a fuel shortage.

Lebanon is suffering from a severe power outage that has resulted in power outages lasting up to 22 hours per day.

Raymound Khattar, the head of civil defense, told the local MTV station that the tanker contained 300,000 liters of gasoline.

Khattar added that efforts are being concentrated on extinguishing the fire and cooling a nearby tanker to prevent it from igniting.

A fire at Beirut’s port triggered a massive explosion in August 2020, killing at least 215 people, injuring thousands, and destroying the facility and surrounding neighborhoods.

Hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive material used in fertilizers that had been improperly stored for years, caused the explosion at Beirut’s port.

Earlier this year, a German company discovered dangerous nuclear material stored at the Zahrani facility.

Soon after, eight small containers containing depleted uranium salts weighing less than 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) were removed.

Since the 1950s, when the Mediterranean Refinery Company, or Medreco, ran the facility, the material has been stored there.

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Medreco was an American corporation whose primary shareholders were Mobil and Caltex, and it operated in Lebanon for four decades, until the late 1980s.

Image credit:The Associated Press

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