Steel-Plant Fire in Iran Is Latest in Spate of Incidents

A blaze broke out at a steel factory in Iran’s southern Kerman province Sunday morning, the semi-official Tasnim news agency said, the country’s fifth reported infrastructure fire in little more than two weeks.

A video of the fire, published by Tasnim, showed sparks and flames erupting into an explosion at the plant, owned by the Zarand Iranian Steel Co. The blast was a result of an overflow of molten iron causing a reaction as it hit a cooling pond, Tasnim cited the company’s public affairs office as saying. Nobody was hurt, and firefighters managed to contain the blaze by the afternoon, a provincial official said, according to Tasnim.

Iran has suffered a flurry of incidents in recent days. An oil pipeline caught fire in the southwest of the country on Thursday, a day after a blaze engulfed a refinery in southern Tehran. A week earlier, a worker was killed when an oxygen pipeline exploded at a petrochemical plant in Assalouyeh, and on May 22, three people were injured in a fire at a unit of the Abadan refinery in southwest Iran.

Earlier this week, an Iranian warship -- one of the biggest vessels in the country’s navy -- sank after catching fire while it was anchored off the coast of the Sea of Oman.

Iranian officials have said sabotage was not behind the refinery and pipeline fires. They’ve blamed unusually hot temperatures, which have also been the cause of widespread power outages.

They are still investigating the cause of the warship blaze.

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