Firefighters continue in their efforts to gain control and prevent the gasoline fire from spreading throughout Haifa’s Oil Refinery complex. Ministry of Environmental Protection: No significant health hazard from the fire’s smoke, though they have advised the population to remain indoors as precaution.
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The large fire that broke out today (Sunday) at Haifa’s Oil Refinery complex is still raging on while the Refinery company continues to emphasize they are doing all they can to try and gain control of the flames. “The police, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the municipality are handling the public as we are handling the situation in order to return things to normal,” said Yiftach Kremer, Haifa Oil Refineries’ Spokesperson, to Channel 2 News Online.“The fire initially ignited this morning in a tank containing 1000 cubic meters of gasoline,” explained Kremer. “A large number of firefighting forces are on scene, both from the Oil Refinery and other bodies, all working to prevent the fire from spreading to other tanks.” Kremer added that they are not yet certain what started the fire but a formal investigation will only be possible after the flames are put out.
Although firefighters seemed to have gained control over the blaze earlier in the day, a short while later, the fire reignited. At the moment there are no reported injuries and Highway 4, 22 and 75 are still closed off in the area. Haifa’s tunnel roads that were closed have now been reopened.
The police stated that at this time the fire does not seem to endanger nearby factories and that police units have been dispatched to the area to provide assistance. The Haifa Airport continues to operate regularly. According to initial investigations, the fire broke out because of the presence of static electricity in the oil tanker during flush operations.
In the last few hours, members of Ministry of Environmental Protection measured a low concentration of air particles which indicates that the pollution from the fires is not hazardous to the population. Since the fire is still burning, the Ministry has advised the population in the area at risk, such as those in the Krayot, to avoid being outdoors as much as possible as a precaution.