Erbil Governor Omed Khoshnaw provides update on refinery fire

Governor Khoshnaw confirmed that only three employees sustained burns and injuries and are currently receiving treatment in the hospital. No death has been reported.
The fire at the refinery is still burning but the civil defense teams have managed to control the fire. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)
The fire at the refinery is still burning but the civil defense teams have managed to control the fire. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Erbil Governor Omed Khoshnaw reported that the ongoing fire at a local refinery in Erbil’s Gwer subdistrict is expected to be controlled within the next few hours, according to the Civil Defense report.

He estimated the damage caused by the fire to be around eight million dollars.

Speaking to reporters, Governor Khoshnaw mentioned that the refinery has been operational for nearly 15 years.

"The issue of the official license is still under investigation, as the license is issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources. However, regardless of the license, an investigation will be conducted to identify any negligence," he stated.

The Civil Defense investigation revealed that the fire originated in a warehouse containing 5,000 tons of fluorine and naphtha.

Governor Khoshnaw confirmed that only three employees sustained burns and injuries and are currently receiving treatment in the hospital.

Fortunately, no fatalities have been reported. Additionally, ten firefighters suffered from asthma due to gas exposure, and four firefighting vehicles along with several trucks were damaged, bringing the total estimated cost to about $8 million.

"The fire was initially very widespread, but thanks to the efforts of the General Civil Defense teams, municipalities, mayoral offices, teams from the Board of Environmental Protection and Improvement of Erbil, police, and security forces, the spread of the fire was contained," Khoshnaw explained.

Unfortunately, a second warehouse containing large amounts of naphtha and fluorine also caught fire.

He added, "The fire is still ongoing, but if all the teams had not worked so intensively, the situation would have been out of hand. We hope to bring the fire under control in the next few hours."

A fire broke out in an asphalt storage facility of an oil refinery in Gwer subdistrict of Erbil province on Wednesday evening. Despite the efforts of several firefighting teams, the fire has not been brought under control.

Read More: Fire breaks out in oil refinery in Erbil’s Gwer subdistrict

Kurdistan24 reporter said that witnesses in the area reported hearing three explosions prior to the outbreak of the fire. Subsequently, the storage facility caught fire.

The fire at a local refinery in Erbil's Gwer sub-district. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)
The fire at a local refinery in Erbil's Gwer sub-district. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)