Huge Gas Blast Rocks Egypt
Fire quickly contained, but some suspect sabotage
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 5, 2011 7:46 AM CST
A fire is seen after an explosion at a gas terminal in Egypt's northern Sinai Peninsula on Saturday Feb. 5, 2011, setting off a massive fire along a gas pipeline that could be seen miles away.   ((AP Photo/APTN))

(Newser) – An explosion rocked a gas terminal in Egypt's northern Sinai Peninsula today, setting off a massive fire that was contained by shutting off the flow of gas to neighboring Jordan and Egypt, officials and witnesses said. Egypt's natural gas company said the fire was caused by a gas leak. However, a local security official said an explosive device was detonated inside the terminal, and the regional governor, Abdel Wahab Mabrouk, said he suspected sabotage.

The blast and fire at the gas terminal in the Sinai town of El-Arish did not cause casualties. The explosion sent a pillar of flames leaping into the sky, but was a safe distance from the nearest homes, said Mabrouk. The terminal is part of a pipeline system that transports gas from Egypt's Port Said on the Mediterranean Sea to Israel, Syria, and Jordan. Jordan depends on Egyptian gas to generate 80% of its electricity.

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Showing 3 of 6 comments
Feb 5, 2011 3:22 PM CST
was that a PG&E pipe? oh, sabotage. Oh well, I guess thats better than a company that cuts corners, loses critical documentation, kills it's customers, buries it all with corruption, and passes the costs directly down to the consumer. Hmm, that almost sounds like sabotage in a way too through...
Feb 5, 2011 12:07 PM CST
Convenience. And I thought Egypt was just full of shit.
Feb 5, 2011 11:50 AM CST
Egypt's suspension of gas supplies to Israel after the North Sinai pipeline was blown up Saturday, Feb 5 has suddenly cut Israel off from 25-30 percent of its gas needs and 80 percent of Jordan's. After the blast, Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmad Shafiq announced that gas supplied to both countries under contract would henceforth be diverted to domestic requirements. Israel is also deeply concerned by spreading Hamas occupation of North Sinai and on high alert for more sabotage of its power installations. Read more