Kuwait Oil Fire Leaves Four Workers Dead

A fire and an explosion at an oil facility in northern Kuwait have left four workers dead and at least 16 injured, according to reports.

The director of the state-owned Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), Ahmed al-Arbeed, said an oil leak had started at a gathering center of the al-Rawdatayn plant late on Thursday and caught fire as workers were trying to contain it.

"The fire spread to the adjacent gas booster station," he said. "Now the fire is under control and could be extinguished in a few hours." He said the bodies of the workers were found on Friday morning. Mr Al-Arbeed said the victims worked for a contractor, but their nationalities were not yet known.

Most of the injured had suffered first and second degree burns. A senior official said there was no suspicion of terrorism or sabotage. The Kuwaiti Oil Minister, Adel al-Subaih, visited the scene and ordered an investigation into the cause of the accident.

Operations at the al-Rawdatayn plant, near the Iraqi border, have been halted, but officials said they would compensate for lost production by increasing output at other fields.

Al-Rawdatayn, which is Kuwait's second largest oil field, is about 40 miles north of Kuwait City.