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The fire at the South African refinery of Astron Energy kills at least two: source




CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – The Astron Energy refinery at 100,000 barrels a day in Cape Town was hit by an explosion in the early hours of Thursday, the company said, according to a source that had killed at least two people and injured several. others before the fire was brought under control.

The fire at South Africa’s third-largest oil refinery began around 4 a.m. (0200 GMT), said Astron Energy, which is owned mostly by a Glencore merchant.

“The resulting fire has been contained and all work on the plant has been suspended,” a spokesman said.

The Milnerton plant, which had been in the process of being restarted after undergoing lengthy maintenance, was shut down after this morning’s fire.

“There are two dead people I know and many injured,” said the source, who was not authorized to speak to the media.

A company spokeswoman said she would issue an update statement later. The fire brigade referred all questions to Astron Energy and police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The closure comes at a difficult time for South Africa as it reopens after its closure linked to COVID-19. The industry body SAPIA said in May that the country was facing a shortage of oil due to rising demand as movement restrictions eased.

Africa’s most industrialized economy is a net importer of crude and oil products.

Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Edited by Jan Harvey

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