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Breaking: Explosion At Power Plant And Chlorine Leak At Petrochemical Plant In Iran

Firefighters extinguishing the fire at Zargan Power Plant in Ahwaz, Iran. July 4, 2020.

Iranian news agencies on Saturday reported an explosion at Zargan power plant and a chlorine leak at Karoun Petrochemical Industries Plant, but possible casualties and the scope of damages remain unclear.

According to media reports, the Fire Department of Ahwaz Municipality has said that the fire resulting from an explosion at 15:30 local time (11:00 GMT) was extinguished after two hours. The power plant is central to the 230-kilo-volt grid in Khuzestan Province. A fire department official was quoted by IRNA as saying that an explosion in a transformer caused the fire which was contained after two hours but firefighters are still working to bring down the temperature at the site.

Fire at Zargan Power Plant

Firefighters and rescue units have been dispatched to a petrochemical plant where a chlorine leak was reported at shortly after the explosion at the power plant at 16:45 local time. The plant which was built in 2002 produces isocyanates and is the first of its kind in the Middle East. Authorities say several have been poisoned by the gas leak but no serious damages have been reported.

Several other "accidents" in recently have been reported in various Iranian cities. On May 11 disruptions of computer servers were reported at Shahid Rajaee Port which caused interruptions in the operations at the port while on June 26 a fire at a power station in Shiraz caused an extensive blackout in the city.

On the same day as the power station explosion in Shiraz an explosion at Khojir region in the east of the capital close to Parchin military facilities where Iran's ballistic missiles are produced was reported. This was followed by another explosion or fire in what the authorities claimed to be an "industrial shed" at that Natanz uranium enrichment facility two days ago.

Some foreign media outlets have quoted informed sources as saying that the "accidents" were caused by sabotage but Iranian authorities have not confirmed this. On Saturday Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) announced that the cause of the incident at Natanz facilities has been determined but will not yet be made public due to "security considerations".