1215 GMT October 23, 2019
Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zanganeh said on Friday that the blaze at the industrial zone of Mahshahr in Khuzestan Province has not been caused as a result of an act of sabotage and rather erupted due to technical issues.
Zanganeh traveled to the site of the blaze to personally supervise attempts to extinguish the fire, which erupted in the Bou Ali Sina plant of the zone on Wednesday, Press TV reported.
People in Saudi Arabia and some of its allied countries have taken to social media to express joy that such an incident has happened in Iran. Zanganeh described such behavior as “unfortunate”.
“Unfortunately, certain neighboring countries have expressed joy following the [eruption] of the blaze,” he said, adding, “A Muslim country shall not rejoice at the harm done to another Muslim country and shall [rather] express sadness.”
The blaze started with an explosion in a key tower of the plant — the tallest in the Middle East. It had been briefly put out on Wednesday but reignited on Thursday.
Officials also have told the media that the reserves of nearby tanks have been emptied as a precaution.
Some reports say the fire has been most likely caused by the paraxylene, a highly flammable hydrocarbon, leakage. However, the exact cause still requires a technical investigation.
There have also been conflicting reports on the number of casualties.