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Fire reported at Iranian oil refinery near Tehran

The fire at the Tondguyan refinery was reportedly caused by a leak at a liquid gas pipeline.
refinery fire

A massive fire erupted Wednesday at an oil refinery south of Tehran, state media reported, the same day a fire tore through Iran’s largest naval vessel. 

Plumes of thick black smoke were visible across the Iranian capital as the fire raged at the Tondguyan refinery. The fire was sparked by a leak at a liquid gas pipeline at the state-owned refinery, said Mansour Darajati, the director-general of the capital’s crisis management team. 

No casualties were reported in the fire, and Darajati told state TV that the cause will be investigated. The Tehran Oil Refining Co., which owns the refinery, has ruled out sabotage in the incident, a spokesperson told the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency. 

All of the facility’s operations were suspended Wednesday and first responders and ambulances had been sent to the scene to extinguish the blaze, Reuters reported, citing Iranian state media outlets. 

Earlier Wednesday, the Iranian navy's biggest ship sank after catching fire in the Gulf of Oman. The crew evacuated the nearly 680-foot Kharg, a training and supply ship that had been in service for more than four decades. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

Last summer, Iran witnessed a number of unexplained fires at both military and civilian sites, including at its Natanz nuclear facility. Israel, a longtime adversary of the Islamic Republic, was suspected of staging the attacks, in part to sabotage Iran’s nuclear weapons development. 

Last month, a large fire broke out at the Kangan Petro Refining Co. in southern Iran, causing no casualties. The Jerusalem Post reports that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had inaugurated the oil facility just a few months prior.

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