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Violent explosion shakes Yemen’s Aden refinery

Violence has escalated in the area in recent weeks.

A fire has ripped through a storage tank at the main oil refinery in Al-Buraika city in Yemen’s Aden on Friday evening.

The fire erupted in a pipe line and leaked into one of the reservoir tanks in the refinery, the head of the fire brigade which rushed to deal with the blaze told the National.

“We have been fighting the fire for more than 3 hours because the flames were extremely large. We couldn’t extinguish it entirely so far, but were able to prevent it leaking to the other reservoir tanks” Captain Sultan Mujahed said. He said the reasons behind the fire were “still unknown so far”.

Captain Mujahed confirmed that the fire ignited in a reservoir tank holding 7000 tonnes of diesel causing a lot of damage in it. The impact of the fire on the whole refinery is still not known.

The spokesperson of Aden Security Forces Captain Abdulrahman al Nakeeb said the director of Aden Security Forces brigadier Shallal Ali Shaiya has ordered a team from the Criminal Investigation Department to carry out a detailed investigation to reveal the reasons behind the fire eruption in the refinery,

“The team has arrived in the place and is going to draft a report about the reasons behind the fire eruption in the few coming hours” Captain al Nakeeb said.

The oil refinery in Aden stopped operating after it was captured by the Houthi militia in 26 March 2015 and resumed seven months after the liberation of Aden. Production was suspended again due to technical problems and for maintaining the power station of the refinery up to today.

A source inside the refinery confirmed to the National that the refinery reservoir tanks have been hired by Ahmed Al-Aiasi the prominent Yemeni Oil merchant since 2016.