Saturday February 13th 2021
Hundreds of tankers explode
Flame inferno in Afghan border town
The police assume there is a leak.
In a border town in western Afghanistan, hundreds of gas tankers fell victim to an inferno of flames. Around noon, a tanker truck exploded near the border with Iran for an unexplained cause and triggered a chain reaction, as a border guard said. About 400 tankers were destroyed in the flames, said the official Mehrullah Balotsch in the city of Islam Qala. “We have not received any air support from any side, but twelve fire engines and crews are helping us from Iran.”
The number of possible victims was also initially unknown because rescue workers stayed a safe distance from the fire.
The fire continued to rage after dark. Herat’s governor Wahid Qatali, who got a picture of the situation on site, assumed that the fire was going to be long: “We are doing our best to put out the fire,” he said. “We were worried about looting, but we prevented that. And we managed to move a few hundred cars away.”
The estimated loss is several million dollars and the fire extinguishing work would have to be awaited for a final assessment, said Herat Chamber of Commerce chief Junus Kasi Sada
Qatali spoke of enormous damage to both the private sector and the public infrastructure. A trade route runs between Afghanistan and Iran in the border town of Islam Qala. For security reasons, the electricity connection to Iran was cut and consequently left the provincial capital Herat in the dark, as Afghan authorities announced.