By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 2 August 2014:
After, and despite, a heroic effort by Libya’s firefighters and health and safety personnel in succeeding . . .[restrict]in quelling and controlling the raging fires at the Fuel Depot in Airport Road over the last few days, renewed shelling has set the tanks ablaze again today.
Thick, dark billowing smoke could be seen for miles from different parts of Tripoli, as the fuel tanks burnt up in raging fires that seemed to reach up for tens of metres high into the sky.
Sameer Kamal, spokesperson for the Ministry of Oil and Gas said in a press conference held today at Tripoli Municipality Council that the Fuel Depot was subjected to a direct hit and that the depot has large quantities of gas and fuel which would be very dangerous if they were to explode with huge negative effects on neighbouring areas.
“At around 11 am the Fuel Depot was surrounded by armed groups from all four directions”, he explained, but refused to indicate from which side. “They had all types of arms with them, including tanks”, Kamal revealed, which if accurate would indicate the possibility of the escalation of the military battle.
“This led to the withdrawal of firefighters. At around 1 pm the fourth tank caught fire leading to huge flames and dark smoke”.
Kamal explained that there are 6 gas tanks which could explode affecting a 5.6 km radius, he warned. He stressed, however, that the firefighters were ready to return to the depots to attempt to quell the fire – once gunfire stops around the depot. [/restrict]