Explosion, fire at Kuwait’s Mina al-Ahmadi Refinery result in minor injuries

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A fire broke out Monday morning in the Mina al-Ahmadi Refinery in Kuwait, resulting in minor injuries and smoke inhalation cases among workers, the Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) confirmed on Twitter.

The incident occured at the atmospheric residue desulphurization (ARDS) unit of the refinery an explosion was heard in the area, according to local reports and social media posts.

The fire was then brought under full control, the national company announced later in the day.

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KNPC first reported there were no casualties but later said in a tweet that there were “a number of minor injuries and cases of suffocation as a result of inhalation of fumes occurred among the contractor's workers.”

Medics provided first aid to those injured on the site while others were transferred to al-Adan Hospital, KNPC said, adding that their condition is stable.

It also confirmed the ARD Unit No. 42 and all lines leading to it were isolated and the refinery’s fire units were attending to the incident.

“The refinery and export operations were not affected, and the local marketing and supply operations of the Ministry of Electricity and Water were not affected by the fire,” KNPC said in a Twitter thread.

The ARDS unit in a refinery is where sulfur is removed from fuel oil.

A KNPC official later said the situation will return to normal in hours, according to Reuters.

Several social media users reported hearing an explosion in the area followed by smoke and flames rising from the location of the refinery. Initial reports included the nearby Shuaiba refinery but KNPC later confirmed the location of the incident.

Last month, KNPC said it started full operation of a project to expand refining capacity and produce fuel that generates lower emissions, including expanding capacity of the Mina al-Ahmadi refinery to 346,000 barrels per day, according to Reuters.

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