Huge blast shakes Egypt gas terminal

Wed, 27 Apr 2011 06:06:17 GMT
A massive explosion has rocked a natural gas terminal in North Sinai near Egypt's border with Israel and leapt huge flames into the air.

The blast ripped through al-Sabil terminal near the town of El-Arish, located 344 kilometers (213 miles) northeast of the Egyptian capital of Cairo, at about 3:30 a.m. local time (0130 GMT) on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.

The huge blast forced the pipeline to be shut down and gas supplies to Israel and Jordan were halted as a result. There were no reports of casualties and the extent of the damage was not immediately known.

An unnamed Egyptian security official said that "an unknown armed gang" attacked the pipeline.

“Authorities closed the main source of gas supplying the pipeline and are working to extinguish the fire,” he further explained.

The attack was the second on the pipeline over the past few weeks. On March 27, unknown armed men placed explosives at al-Sabil gas terminal to blow it up, but had failed to carry out their act of terror.

The terminal was previously sabotaged on February 5 during a revolution that finally drove 82-year-old Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from power. Supplies of gas to Israel to Jordan were disrupted as a result of the attack.

On April 13, Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf ordered a review of the pricing deals with Israel because of the low price at which Egypt's gas was sold.

Israel depends on Egyptian gas to generate 40 percent of its electricity.


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