Footage has surfaced online of a huge blaze ravaging what is reported to be oil giant Saudi Aramco’s facility in the country’s east. Sounds of gunfire and explosions have been reported by witnesses.
A fire broke out at Saudi Aramco’s facility in the city of Abqaiq in the oil-rich kingdom’s Eastern Province on Saturday morning. Multiple videos have emerged on social media showing the compound being engulfed in flames and thick black smoke billowing from the site.
The gunshots and the explosions were heard by local residents at around 3 am this morning in Aramco compound near #Buqayq, #SaudiArabia. Some people I spoke to say there were about 12 explosions that rock the area. pic.twitter.com/0r27l2V2Zo
— ZaidBenjamin الحساب البديل (@ZaidBenjamin5) September 14, 2019
Here’s a long video compilation showing different angles of what is supposedly the aftermath of the explosion. pic.twitter.com/HEtaPqu93n
— Nate Rosenblatt (@NateRosenblatt) September 14, 2019
The capital of the oil industry
Explosions and fires
Now residents are evacuating the city
It has the largest community of Americans and Westerners pic.twitter.com/iTCNza0FHl
— Nasser (@Nasser22820844) September 14, 2019
Several loud bangs resembling the sound of explosions can be heard in the background. There have been unconfirmed reports on social media of over a dozen blasts rocking the facility.
Distinct gunfire sounds can be heard in a video allegedly filmed at a parking lot across the street from the site.
The first video shows one of the explosions from the vantage point of a parking lot nearby. Bursts of gunfire are audible in the distance.
— John Marquee (@john_marquee) September 14, 2019
It is unclear what triggered the fire, with Riyadh reportedly placing a gag order on any information about the incident pending an official statement.
On Twitter, Saudi royal court adviser Turki Alalshikh urged netizens to not fuel speculations, denouncing social media reports as “lies and rumours.”
“Praise to God, safe and secure… Abqaiq is well,” the official tweeted.
Dubai-based Al-Arabiya reported that the fire had been contained and that Saudi authorities are expected to issue a statement soon.
Abqaiq is home to the world’s largest oil processing plant.
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