Dozens poisoned after explosion at Iranian chemical factory

More than 130 people taken to hospital for treatment, according to local health chief

Rory Sullivan
Tuesday 14 June 2022 13:42 BST
<p>The Iranian flag flutters in front of Bushehr nuclear power plant </p>

The Iranian flag flutters in front of Bushehr nuclear power plant

An explosion at a chemical factory in southern Iran poisoned dozens of people on Monday afternoon, local officials have said.

The blast was caused by a leak from an ammonium tank at a factory in the city of Firouzabad, according to Khalil Abdollahi, the head of crisis management in Fars province.

Hossein Darvishi, the Red Crescent Society’s local director, said 71 people were poisoned by toxic gases released by the explosion, which took place around 500 miles south of the capital Tehran.

No deaths have been reported so far, he added.

In total, 133 people were taken to hospital to receive treatment for their injuries on Monday, Vahid Hosseini, the local health chief, said. Of this group, 114 were later released.

Experts were sent to the area surrounding the factory to investigate the level of air pollution, with a nearby road closed as a precaution.

The authorities later confirmed on Tuesday that the road had been reopened.

Fires and explosions at industrial sites are not uncommon in Iran. They are largely blamed on technical failures.

Last month, an Iranian engineer called Ehsun Ghadbeigi was killed in an unexplained incident at a major Iranian weapons development base.

An investigation has been launched into the accident, which occurred at a research centre in the Parchin military complex, east of the capital Tehran.

In a separate incident, a fire broke out at an oil warehouse owned by the country’s powerful Revolutionary Guard in the western province of Kemranshah in February. There were no casualties.

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