Albanian Refinery Fire Kills One, Flames Put Out


TIRANA, Nov 11 (Reuters) - An explosion at an Albanian-U.S.-owned refinery in the southern area of Ballsh overnight killed one person and wounded seven others, causing an enormous fire that was put out on Friday.

Police said a malfunctioning hydrogen valve caused the explosion in the refinery, which started operating two months ago after a $52 million revamp.

Seven workers were wounded and were being treated for severe burns, with four of them being treated in the capital Tirana. The condition of two of them was still life-threatening.

Damages were estimated to be around $1 million, according to news reports. Prosecutors were investigating "a failure to observe technical rules".

The Energy Ministry's inspection team said hydrogen pressure at the valve was three times higher than the normal level.

The refinery owners were not available for comment.

(Reporting By Benet Koleka)


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