At least 8 die in fire in Russian oil sludge firm

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 29, 2012 6:09 AM
At least 8 die in fire in Russian oil sludge firm

MOSCOW (Reuters) - At least eight workers died after fire broke out in an oil sludge-processing firm on Saturday in the West Siberian region of Khanty-Mansiisk, the hinterland of Russian crude production, the Emergencies Ministry said.

The fire at a sludge storage has been put out, the ministry said in a statement. The Investigation Committee said the cause of fire could be an explosion, while the state-owned RIA Novosti news agency said, citing a law-enforcement source, the plant caught fire after gas exploded.

The ministry said eight more people were injured after the fire was reported at 0950 Moscow time (0550 GMT) at the plant, owned by the private Invest-Oil company.

According to some estimates, more than 3 million tonnes of sludge is being generated in Russia as a result of oil and gas production and refining. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by James Jukwey)