Major fire hits oil refinery in Syria’s Homs

The blaze, which erupted in a distillation unit, was caused by a leak in a pumping station, state media reported.

Firefighters try to put out a fire in main Homs refinery, Syria [SANA/Reuters]

Syrian firefighters extinguished a major blaze on Sunday that engulfed areas of its main Homs refinery in the west of the nation.

The fire started in a distillation unit because of a leak in a pumping station, state media reported without elaborating.

State television showed live footage of flames shooting out of parts of the refinery with black smoke plumes in the distance as firefighters battled the blaze.

SANA, the state news agency, citing a local firefighting official, reported the fire was later brought under control without causing casualties.

“The cooling process is now underway. There are no casualties,” chief of the Homs firefighting brigade, Hassan Amar, said.

In late April, Syria’s oil ministry said a fire erupted in an oil tanker on its coast after what it said was a suspected drone attack.

There was a large fire and blast at Homs refinery in January involving a nearby crude oil loading station and dozens of trucks that transport petroleum products across the country.

Both Homs refinery and Banias on the Mediterranean coast have faced supply shortages in recent months because of erratic supplies of Iranian crude to the sanctions-hit country, which relies mainly on Tehran for its energy needs.

Syria has for years faced gasoline and fuel shortages, forcing it to ration supplies distributed across government-held areas and to apply several rounds of steep price hikes.

Source: News Agencies