UPDATED: Romanian Black Sea refinery blast kills one, injures five

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A blast on Friday at Romania’s biggest crude oil refinery killed one person and injured five others, authorities and the company which runs the Petromidia plant on the Black Sea said.

Video footage from a nearby beach in the coastal resort of Mamaia showed black smoke rising from the area next to the refinery and some tourists reported hearing a loud bang.

Rompetrol Rafinare, part of KMG International Group, said the explosion was inside the diesel oil refining installation, and that processes had been halted safely.

“Five of our colleagues are in medical care at Constanta County Hospital, and we are sorry to inform you that a person has been identified as deceased,” it added in a statement.

Rompetrol declined to comment on the likely financial damage but said the fire had been “isolated and stabilised”.

Raed Arafat, head of the Department for Emergency Situations said the danger of further blasts was diminished dramatically as firefighters have been putting out the fire.

Petromidia is based on the shores of the Black Sea in Navodari, 20 km (12.5 miles) north of the country’s biggest port, Constanta.

It said it processed a total of 1.26 million tonnes of raw materials in the first quarter of this year, a similar level to a year before, and had been running at 84% capacity.

Rompetrol was trading 1.96% down at 0.05 lei by 1225 GMT.

Photo: An aerial view taken through the window of a plane shows smoke rising over Petromidia Refinery, on the shore of Black Sea, in Navodari, Romania, 02 July 2021. The cloud of toxic gases is moving towards the sea, not towards the shore, the authorities say. EPA-EFE/ROBERT GHEMENT