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ZAHRANI FIRE

Oil storage tank on fire in southern Lebanon, witness reports

Smoke billows from a fire on Monday at the Zahrani oil facility in southern Lebanon. (Credit: Ali Hankir/Reuters)

BEIRUT — A fire broke out on Monday at a fuel storage tank at the Zahrani oil facility in southern Lebanon, and firefighters were attempting to control the blaze, a Reuters witness said.

The Lebanese Army was evacuating the region amid fears that the fire would spread and cause an explosion, the TV station Al Jadeed reported. A security source told Reuters that traffic was being diverted away from the facility.

There was no immediate official comment on the incident.

The fire is the latest disaster to hit Lebanon, where fuel shortages amid a deep economic crisis forced the country’s two biggest power plants, one in Zahrani and the other in Deir Ammar, to shut down on Saturday, bringing the already straining power network to a complete halt.

The Energy Ministry said on Sunday that power had been restored to what it was before the blackout, after the Lebanese Army provided 6,000 kiloliters of gas oil to the two power stations.

Lebanon is in the throes of an economic meltdown dubbed by the World Bank as likely one of the deepest depressions of modern history. Three-quarters of its population have been plunged into poverty, and the currency has lost 90 percent of its value in the past two years.

Lebanese have had to increasingly rely on private generators that carry expensive fuel oil bills for power, as the state electricity company provides few if any hours of service a day to their districts.


BEIRUT — A fire broke out on Monday at a
fuel storage tank at the Zahrani oil facility in southern
Lebanon, and firefighters were attempting to control the blaze,
a Reuters witness said.
The Lebanese Army was evacuating the region amid fears that
the fire would spread and cause an explosion, the TV station Al Jadeed reported. A security source told Reuters...