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1 dead, 5 injured in Albanian oil refinery explosion

Associated Press Associated Press 11/11/2016

TIRANA, Albania — An explosion at an oil refinery in Albania has killed one person and injured five others, Albanian police said Friday.

A statement said that the explosion the previous evening at the oil refinery in Ballsh, 140 kilometers (85 miles) south of the capital, Tirana, was caused by the failure of a hydrogen pump. It sparked a fire that killed a 40-year old man and injured five other people, one seriously. The refining company put the number of injured at six.

Firefighters managed to get the fire under control.

The Energy Ministry said the equipment had not been operated correctly. The hydrogen pressure was three times the normal level and the security valve did not function.

The findings have been sent to the prosecutor's office, a statement said.

The refinery, with a capacity of one million tons per year, is managed by an offshore company registered in the Virgin Islands. After a one-year halt due to business problems it resumed operation earlier this month.

The Ionian Refining and Trading Company said the explosion had been caused by a power cut, and that a spare power supply line had not worked properly. It said the refinery was back to normal operation.

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