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Huge blaze, blast hit oil refineries in Haifa

This photo shows a massive fire raging at oil refineries in Haifa, Israel, on December 25, 2016.

A massive blaze has broken out at oil refineries in the Israeli city of Haifa after a fuel storage tank there caught fire, media reports say.

According to Israeli media, the fire also caused an explosion at the facilities belonging to Israeli Oil Refineries – Bazan - on Sunday.

The firefighters are reportedly battling to extinguish the flames amid fears that the fire could spread.

“It is a very serious incident. Our main aim at the moment is to stop the fire spreading to other tanks that contain dangerous material,” said Haifa fire services spokesman Yoram Levy.

Levy further said the tank held 1,000 cubic liters of gasoline when it caught fire. It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze.

A number of injuries were also reported due to the fire that also forced police to close roads leading to the area.

Residents were advised to stay indoors due to the release of hazardous pollutants.

Late last month, wildfires raged in Haifa and other locations in the Israeli-occupied territories, prompting tens of thousands of evacuations.

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