Dozens of homes and private properties in Yemen’s capital Sanaa were destroyed as a petroleum product warehouse belonging to a black market trader exploded, causing a fire to break out Monday night, local residents told Al Arabiya.
The fire had reportedly started in a house owned by Naji al-Hakim, which was used to store petroleum derivatives that are sold on the black market.
The Yemeni capital is currently under the control of the Iran-backed Houthi militia.
The fire quickly spread to at least 30 houses as residents struggled to extinguish it themselves without the help of civil defense forces, the sources said.
اندلاع حريق هائل في منزل احد تجار للمشتقات النفطية في منطقة السنينة غرب صنعاء واحتراق بعض المنازل المجاوره ..— محمد الاحمدي (@eMSzn2SrqKZ8RHH) June 22, 2020
مصادر توكد أحترق 35 منزل إلى الآن وما الحريق مستمر حتى الآن ... pic.twitter.com/cb6fbao5W8
No information has been provided on the number of casualties or on the extent of the damage, but images and videos circulating online showed huge flames and ambulances arriving at the scene in an attempt to save those caught in the fire.
The fire comes amid the ongoing fuel crisis in Sanaa and areas controlled by the Houthis, and the readily available supply of gasoline tanks on the black market.
Yemen’s Supreme Economic Council have accused the Houthi militia of propagating an oil crisis in the areas under its control to take advantage of the black market, renounce their agreement with the UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths, and sell them to international organizations.