Fire And Explosion Hit Iran Steel Mill In Third Such Incident In Five Days
Saturday evening a large fire and a strong explosion rocked an Iranian steel mill in Zarand, Kerman Province, in the third such incident in less than a week. Officials said that after hours of battling the fire they were able to extinguish it without loss of human life.
Local officials in Zarand reported late Saturday that a blaze and an explosion engulfed one of the furnaces. The director of Zarand Steel Mill said several people were injured but no was was killed.
Three days earlier, an explosion and a fire in a refinery ten miles south of the capital Tehran became a spectacle to 9 million residents as it burned for 20 hours. No evacuations took place, and the government did not mention possible health hazards. Reports said that 20 storage tanks where waste fuel was kept completely burned.
Another explosion followed by a fire sank Iran’s largest naval vessel in the Sea of Oman, near it shores, on June 2. The government has not issued any official report on the cause of any of the three incidents, as the Islamic Republic is gearing up to choose a president in 12 days.
In all three incidents suspicion of sabotage, evident in social-media speculation, was inevitable with continuing Israeli threats against the Islamic Republic, following a series of spectacular attacks against high-value targets since July 2020 that are widely believed to have been the work of Israeli intelligence.
Iran’s main uranium enrichment facility in Natanz experienced two catastrophic attacks in less than10 months, with explosions and fires destroying crucial enrichment machines and inflicting serious damage in July 2020 and April 2021.
An interesting twist in the Zarand incident is a report by a local media outlet that said personnel were evacuated as the possibility of an explosion “was predicted hours earlier” and no one was present where the fire broke out. While this cannot be verified, an official of the steel mill said the reason for the incident will be investigated once the fire is completely extinguished.
According to local sources the explosion was so strong that people in villages and surrounding regions of Zarand were jolted.
Despite the fact that several videos on social media show the fire and the explosion, Ali Sadeghzadeh, the governor of Zarand denied any explosion had taken place.