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Fire breaks out at Kuwait’s key oil export terminal

May 23, 1987

KUWAIT (AP) _ A fire broke out at a gas tank in the Ahmadi port area, Kuwait’s key oil export terminal, and the government held an emergency session Saturday to discuss the situation.

The Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) quoted an Information Ministry source as saying the blaze had been ″brought under total control″ and there were no casualties, but other sources said the fire was still raging Saturday night.

Officials would not speculate on what started the fire - the latest in a series of explosions and fires at oil installations in Ahmadi and other targets in downtown Kuwait in the past year.

Iran accuses Kuwait of supporting Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war that broke out in September 1980, and Kuwaiti oil tankers and freighters have been frequent targets of Iranian attacks.

The state security court is scheduled to issue verdicts June 6 in the case of 16 pro-Iran Shiite Moslem Kuwaitis, who were charged with responsibility for previous attacks at Ahmadi. Four of these defendants stil are at large and being tried in absentia.

The minister of state for Cabinet affairs, Rashed Abdel-Aziz al-Rashed, said the Cabinet reviewed the ″measures taken to bring the blaze under control and prevent it from spreading.″

Al-Rashed was quoted by the KUNA as saying Crown Prince and Prime Minister Sheik Saad al-Abdullah al-Sabah presided over the emergency session and heard reports from Oil Minister Sheik Ali Khalifa al-Sabah and other concerned ministers about details of the fire and precautions taken to deal with it and avoid further such incidents.

The report did not mention the extent of damage at the facility.

KUNA earlier said the fire broke out at 9:15 p.m. Friday at gas tank No. 406 at Ahmadi, 32 miles south of the capital.

A Yemeni national, the only casualty reported in the previous fires and explsions this year, was killed when a bomb ripped through a travel bureau in Kuwait’s fashionable Fahd al-Salem street 10 days ago.

Update hourly