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Deadly explosion reported at Romania's largest oil refinery 1

Deadly explosion reported at Romania’s largest oil refinery

Thick black smoke from the fire was reported to be moving away from the Romanian coast towards the Black Sea. Authorities said local citizens were safe, but advised them to close the windows. A powerful explosion at Romania’s largest oil refinery on Friday killed one person and left at least four other workers injured. Around 50 firefighters were deployed at the scene after the explosion rocked the Navodari Petromidia refinery on the Black Sea coast. The refinery’s operations “have been halted as a safety measure,” said Kazakh group KazMunayGas (KMG), which owns the oil processing site.

What do we know so far?

Video footage taken by a tourist showed thick black smoke billowing from the refinery, which is located 15 kilometers (9 miles) from Mamaia, Romania’s main tourist hub. Operator Romeptrol Rafinare said “technological processes at the refinery were safely stopped” and then the fire was “isolated and stabilized.” “Internal and external teams are making efforts to publish it in the shortest possible time,” the company said on social media. Authorities are still not sure what caused the explosion.

How has it affected the nearby area?

The wind carried the plume of smoke into the Black Sea. “The direction of the smoke is in the opposite direction to the beach and the city, that’s why citizens are safe,” the country’s Interior Ministry said in a statement. “However, we ask the population to take protective measures by closing (their) windows. The head of Romania’s Environmental Guard, Octavian Berceanu, told the Associated Press news agency that ” adequate data ” is not yet available to find out its impact on wildlife. “The smoke comes out of the coast and some go to the beach, but it’s not populated,” said Octavian Berceanu, who heads the government’s environmental agency. Previous refinery fires in Indonesia and South Africa have led to evacuations and injuries.

Why was the refinery controversial?

The Petromidia refinery has been the subject of disputes since the early 2000s between kmg owners and the Romanian government. Authorities began investigating the refinery on charges of fraud, tax evasion and money laundering in 2006. As part of this investigation, prosecutors seized the Petromidia plant in 2016, although the investigation was later dropped in 2019. Romania has had several climate problems in recent times, and rising pollution is one of the main problems facing the Eastern European country.

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About the author: Eduardo Kando Verified Member WiseGroup Manager

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