mcloudy.png
Monday October 25th, 2021 10:14AM

Fuel tanker blast at Afghan-Iran border causes massive fire

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

HERAT, Afghanistan (AP) — A fuel tanker exploded Saturday at the Islam Qala crossing in Afghanistan's western Herat province on the Iranian border, injuring at least seven people and causing a massive fire that consumed more than 500 trucks carrying natural gas and fuel, according to Afghan officials and Iranian state media.

It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the blast. Wahid Qatali, Herat’s provincial governor, said Afghan first responders did not have the means to put out the huge fire and had requested support from Iran in the form of firefighting aircraft.

“For the time being, we can’t even talk about the casualties,” Qatali told The Associated Press.

The intensity of the flames meant ambulances were having trouble reaching the wounded or getting close to the site of the blast, said Mohammad Rafiq Shirzy, spokesman for the regional hospital in Herat's capital city, also named Herat.

Seven people injured by the fire had been admitted to the hospital so far, he said.

Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency quoted truck drivers as saying more than 500 trucks carrying natural gas and fuel had burned.

Two explosions at the border crossing were powerful enough to be spotted from space by NASA satellites. One blast erupted around 1:10 p.m. Afghan time (0840 GMT), the next around a half hour later at 1:42 p.m. local (0912 GMT).

The fire continued to burn after nightfall and forced Afghanistan to shut down its electrical supply from Iran, leaving Herat in the dark, said Wahidullah Tawhidi, spokesman for the Ministry of Power Supply.

The road between the city of Herat and Islam Qala is a dangerous stretch of highway that Afghans rarely travel at night for fear of attacks by criminal gangs. Taliban insurgents also travel freely in the area. Afghan security services had set up checkpoints and were assisting ambulances and emergency vehicles traveling to and from the border crossing.

Iran's state-run IRNA news agency reported that following the request from Herat's governor, Iranian “rescue forces and firefighters are underway to extinguish the fire inside Afghanistan," according to Mohsen Nejat, director-general of crisis management in Iran's Khorasan Razavi province.

The fire spread to the Dogharoon customs facilities on the Iranian side of the border and first responders — including the fire department, the Iranian army and border forces — were assisting in extinguishing the blaze, according to Iranian state television. The Afghan side of the border crossing has its own fire department, but officials in Herat said they weren’t in control of the fire even in the first few minutes.

The Islam Qala border crossing is around 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of the city of Herat, and is a major transit route between Afghanistan and Iran.

The United States allows Afghanistan to import fuel and oil from Iran as part of a special concession that exempts Kabul from U.S. sanctions against Iran. Satellite photos taken Saturday before the explosion showed dozens of tankers parked at the border crossing.

___

Vahdat contributed from Tehran, Iran.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
AP sources: GOP leader McConnell will vote to acquit Trump
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell will vote to acquit Donald Trump in the former president’s impeachment trial
10:30AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Senate poised to vote on holding Trump accountable for riot
The Senate is holding a rare Saturday session for closing arguments in Donald Trump's impeachment trial, and then senators will vote on whether Trump will be held accountable for inciting the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6
10:24AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Humphries in contention midway through monobob title race
Kaillie Humphries is headed into the final day of the major international sliding season with a chance at another world championship
10:22AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Draghi takes helm in Italy, focused on pandemic recovery aid
The man largely credited with saving the euro currency has formally taken the helm as Italy's new premier
9:21AM ( 1 hour ago )
Union says meatpacking workers should be vaccinated sooner
Hundreds of meatpacking workers have been vaccinated against the coronavirus but the union that represents many of them says several hundred thousand more have not, despite the risks they continue to face
9:08AM ( 1 hour ago )
Medvedev in 5, finally, advances to 4th round in Australia
Daniil Medvedev finally worked out how to a win a five-setter
8:58AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Trump's speedy impeachment trial heads toward Senate vote
Senators are poised to vote on whether Donald Trump will be held accountable for inciting the horrific attack at the Capitol
2:23AM ( 8 hours ago )
As impeachment vote draws near, McConnell revealing little
Seldom has Mitch McConnell signaled so little about such a consequential vote
12:50AM ( 9 hours ago )
Trump's speedy impeachment trial heads toward Senate vote,
Senators are poised to vote on whether Donald Trump will be held accountable for inciting the horrific attack at the Capitol
12:44AM ( 9 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
The Latest: China holiday travel down amid restrictions
Railway journeys in China during the usually busy Lunar New Year holiday travel rush are down by almost 70% amid calls for people to stay where they are to avoid a new outbreak of the coronavirus
8:59AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Oxford University testing vaccine in children
The University of Oxford plans to test its COVID-19 vaccine in children for the first time
5:34AM ( 5 hours ago )
Tensions high as mass protests in Myanmar enter second week
Mass street demonstrations in Myanmar have entered their second week with neither protesters nor the military government they seek to unseat showing any signs of backing off from confrontations
2:16AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP World News
Jaguars split with accused racist strength coach Chris Doyle
The Jacksonville Jaguars and embattled strength coach Chris Doyle have parted ways
9:12AM ( 1 hour ago )
Court rules against Apaches in bid to halt proposed mine
A federal judge has rejected a request from a group of Apaches to keep the U.S. Forest Service from transferring a parcel of land to a copper mining company
12:59AM ( 9 hours ago )
The Latest: Mexico to lower virus alert level in many states
Mexico is reducing its COVID-19 alert level in about half of the country’s states amid a drop in infections and hospitalizations in many places, including the capital
12:01AM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Business
The Latest: Britain's infection rate lowers to July numbers
Britain’s scientific advisers say they are confident the coronavirus outbreak is shrinking across the country for the first time in more than six months
11:36AM ( 22 hours ago )
Vaccine delay in North Macedonia stirs political tension
Like many other countries bordering the EU, North Macedonia is scrambling to procure COVID-19 vaccines, suffering disproportionately from recent manufacturing delays
10:18AM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Japan expected to approve Pfizer vaccine
Japan’s health minister says the efficacy of Pfizer vaccine was endorsed by a ministry panel
10:09AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Industries
South Africa's Ramaphosa urges support for vaccination drive
South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has sought to support his government’s efforts to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as it struggles to implement a vaccination program and an economic recovery plan
3:19PM ( 1 day ago )
Federal utility gives raise to CEO that Trump had criticized
A federal utility’s board has boosted the pay scale of its CEO based on an independent review
3:09PM ( 1 day ago )
Autoworkers face uncertain future in an era of electric cars
When General Motors boldly announced its goal last month to make only battery-powered vehicles by 2035, it didn’t just mark a break with more than a century of making internal combustion engines
12:59PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Utilities
AP sources: GOP leader McConnell will vote to acquit Trump
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell will vote to acquit Donald Trump in the former president’s impeachment trial
10:30AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Senate poised to vote on holding Trump accountable for riot
The Senate is holding a rare Saturday session for closing arguments in Donald Trump's impeachment trial, and then senators will vote on whether Trump will be held accountable for inciting the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6
10:24AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Humphries in contention midway through monobob title race
Kaillie Humphries is headed into the final day of the major international sliding season with a chance at another world championship
10:22AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Virus-muffled Mardi Gras hits New Orleans' party-loving soul
New Orleans' annual pre-Lenten Mardi Gras celebration is muted this year because of the coronavirus pandemic
10:16AM ( 20 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump trial opens as senators race toward vote
The Senate is gaveling open as the court of impeachment is expecting to wrap up Donald Trump’s trial over the Capitol siege
10:11AM ( 24 minutes ago )