KUWAIT CITY, July 9, (KUNA): Initial indications — as to the possibility of the country being exposed to noxious pollution from an explosion at a petrochemical plant in west Iran yesterday — are “reassuring,” said the Ministry of Interior on Thursday.
The ministry quoted Director of the General Department of Civil Defense Brig. Abdullah Ahmad Al-Ali as saying in a statement: “Kuwait is not within the sphere of marine or environmental pollution,” resulting from the explosion at the Iranian petrochemical plant. “All precautionary measures have been taken to deal appropriately with any ensuing developments that may arise from the explosion,” he said.
He added that meteorological maps show that “the direction of winds will be northwesterly which means that any airborne pollution will take a southeasterly drift in the direction of the southern coast of Iran.” He further said that the location of the explosion is 180 km from the Kuwaiti border, stressing that “most products of the petrochemical plant are petroleum derivatives and other materials easily susceptible to winds that carry them in a direction far away from Kuwait.”
Emphasizing that the possibility of pollutants from the explosion reaching Kuwait was “minimal,” he noted that the Department of Civil Defense is coordinating with all pertinent government ministries and agencies to monitor the situation closely and to act promptly vis-? -vis any developments in this incident. Yesterday, a large fire broke out in a section of a petrochemical plant in southwest Iran resulting in no human casualties. The incident took place at the Bou-Ali-Sina Petrochemical plant.
The plant is owned by Iran’s National Petrochemical Company (NPC) which produces 1.75 million tons per year of aromatics and by-products. The plant is located at the Petrochemical Special Economic Zone at the seaport of Bandar Imam.