Fire at Kuwait refinery kills 2 and critically injures 5

Fire at Kuwait refinery kills 2 and critically injures 5

A fire erupted in Kuwait during maintenance work at a major oil refinery on Friday 14th January, killing two workers and critically injuring five others.

This is the second fire to erupt at the Mina al-Ahmadi oil refinery owned by the Kuwait National Petroleum Company in the past three months. In October 2021, the state-owned oil company reported a fire, with some workers suffering from smoke inhalation and others being treated for light burns.

However, in this latest fire two contract workers have been confirmed as dead as their bodies were discovered on site.

In initial statements, the company had said that ten workers were injured in the fire, with a further seven being treated at hospital for burns. Others received treatment at a clinic based on-site at the refinery. The company later stated that five of those with severe burns were transferred to another hospital in critical condition.

The company said the fire started at a gas liquefaction unit that had been out of service for routine maintenance work. It said the fire was extinguished and that operations at the refinery were not affected because the unit damaged was already out of service.

The refinery was built to handle 25,000 barrels of oil a day to supply Kuwait’s domestic market primarily with gasoline and diesel. The facility recently underwent an expansion to reduce its emissions and boost capacity to 346,000 barrels a day.