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24 Aug, 2020 02:20

Gas pipeline explosion causes ‘cascading blackout’ across Syria in suspected ‘terrorist attack’

Gas pipeline explosion causes ‘cascading blackout’ across Syria in suspected ‘terrorist attack’

A suspected terrorist attack against a major gas pipeline in Damascus countryside has led to widespread power outages all across Syria, according to the country’s electricity and energy ministries.

The blast “may have been caused by a terrorist act” and “led to power cuts in all of Syria,” SANA reported, citing the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, who later doubled down on the initial assertion:

After assessing the situation, it became clear that the explosion that occurred on the Arab gas pipeline… was caused by a terrorist attack.

While there were no reports of injuries in the blast, several photos and videos have circulated on social media purporting to show a massive blaze that engulfed the crippled pipeline.

The explosion damaged a stretch of the Arab Gas Pipeline between the towns of Al-Dumayr and Adra in Damascus governorate, leading to a pressure drop and cascading shutdowns of the country’s power stations, according to Syria’s Electricity Minister, Mohammad Zuhair Kharboutli.

The incident took place in the middle of the night and it was not immediately clear which regions of Syria were affected and to what extent.

Several hours after the blast, as firefighters were still battling the blaze, the electricity and energy ministries working together managed to restart some of the power stations and partially restore electricity supply to "vital infrastructure."

This is the sixth time that stretch of the gas pipeline has been hit by an explosion over the course of the Syrian conflict, Kharboutli added, refusing to speculate about possible causes of the latest blast.

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