Large Fire Breaks Out in Haifa Oil Refineries, Residents of Area Urged to Stay Indoors

Firefighters prepare for all-night fight; director of refineries: Cause of fire unknown.

Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel
People stand opposite a blaze that erupted in a fuel tank at Oil Refineries Ltd in the Israeli northern city of Haifa December 25, 2016. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
People stand opposite a blaze that erupted in a fuel tank at Oil Refineries Ltd in Haifa, December 25, 2016.Credit: BAZ RATNER/REUTERS
Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel

A large fire broke out again at the oil refinery plant in the northern city of Haifa on Sunday afternoon, after firefighters managed to briefly quell the conflagration in the morning.

The blaze broke out in one fuel tank, and large contingencies of firefighters were at the scene to prevent it from spreading to nearby tanks, a firefighting spokesperson said. The fight may continue to rage until night, firefighters say.

Police closed roads leading up to the area. Police said that there were no concerns that the fire would spread to nearby plants, and no casualties were reported.

According to Oil Refineries Ltd., which operate the site, the 12,000 cubic meter tank was only 10 percent full when the fire erupted. According to the firm's director, the cause of the blaze was still unknown.

Government authorities urged residents to avoid the area, and called on residents in nearby towns to stay indoors due to pollution from the fire.

Haifa was badly hit by brush fires last month. Some 60,000 residents were evacuated and dozens were injured from smoke inhalation.

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