Sunday, September 12, 2010
Up to 10 Iranian workers have been killed after a gas pipeline exploded, reports suggest. Iranian state media have said that the pipeline, which transports gas from the Khangiran refinery in Sarakhs to the city of Mashhad in Iran's northeastern province of Khorasan-e Razavi, exploded on Saturday, and at least ten workers were transported to hospital, where they died of their injuries.
The director of the National Iranian Oil Company, Alireza Gharibi, said in an interview that "nine to ten people were killed in the Sarakhs pipeline blast." 50 others are reported to have been injured by the explosion, which sparked a large fire that has now been brought under control. After the initial incident, a number of workers with severe burns were taken to hospitals by helicopters. Gharibi stated that the explosion occurred while contractors were constructing a separate pipeline, which is to run nearby to the pipeline involved. The explosion is believed to have occurred when a construction vehicle lost balance and struck the pipeline.
Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Javad Oji has said that the damaged pipeline will begin transporting gas again in the next couple of days. An investigation has begun into the cause of the disaster. According to the Associated Press, "Iran is the world's fourth-largest oil producer and also sits on the world's second largest natural gas reserves and the country's economy is heavily dependent on oil and gas revenues."
== Sources ==
Parisa Hafezi. "Up to 10 killed in Iran pipeline blast - report" — Reuters Africa, September 11, 2010
"Deaths in Iran pipeline explosion" — Al Jazeera, September 11, 2010
CNN Wire Staff. "Pipeline blast in northeast Iran kills 4 people, state media reports" — CNN, September 11, 2010