As if Lebanon was drowning its economic and living crisesIn addition to the suffocating fuel and electricity crisis, there was no shortage of a fire wall, also affecting one of the oil reservoirs, to end the disaster.
On Monday morning, a huge fire broke out in a fuel tank in the Zahrani area, inside one of the main fuel unloading and storage facilities in the south of the country, according to the agency. national press.
At a time when the country has been experiencing a serious fuel crisis for months, a huge fire broke out in a tank at Al-Zahrani facilities containing gasoline, without knowing the cause for the moment.
Flames were seen rising from the burning tank, forming a huge black cloud over the area, as members of the military cut off the roads leading to the spot and prevented residents from approaching . The adjacent international road has also been cut in both directions.
A fire in the Zahrani factory in southern Lebanon (AFP)
A loud sound in front of the fire
In turn, the Al-Arabiya / Al-Hadath correspondent reported that there were no injuries among the workers inside the oil installation.
While a worker in an orchard near the site of the fire confirmed to AFP that he heard a loud bang before the fire broke out.
Difficulty trapping fire
For their part, the fire crews worked with difficulty to contain and extinguish the flames, as well as to cool the adjacent tanks lest the fire spread to them.
Meanwhile, Lebanese Energy Minister Walid Fayyad confirmed later today that the tank that caught fire is owned by the military and contains a certain amount of gasoline.
He also added, in statements released by the Council of Ministers Presidency account on Twitter, “that the fire has been cordoned off”, while the minister demanded that there be a report on all that is happening. is past and its causes to know its origin. of the problem and avoid it in the future.
It should be noted that Zahrani’s facilities are located next to the Zahrani power plant, fifty kilometers from Beirut.
The petroleum derivatives in which they are stored are distributed in the local market through distribution companies, and they supply about 15 percent of the market’s needs for mazut.
A fire broke out at the Zahrani refinery in southern Lebanon
Lebanon has been experiencing one of the worst economic crises in the world since the 1950s and has for months encountered difficulties in supplying the quantities of fuel necessary for the operation of electricity production plants.
Residents also wait in queues for hours to stock their cars with gasoline, due to difficulties in importing fuel due to an unprecedented collapse in the exchange rate of the lira against the dollar and the depletion of hard currency reserves at the Central Bank.
From a gas station in Lebanon (Reuters archives)
Two main power plants, including the Al-Zahrani plant, completely halted production on Saturday due to the fuel exhaustion, before partially resuming work on Sunday, after the military supplied fuel from its stocks for the two plants.
Note that this partial operation provides very limited hours of power (only two hours) in some areas per day.