A huge fire has exploded on the Cairo-Ismailia desert highway injuring 17 people and burning out 20 cars.
A spark from a passing car ignited crude oil that was leaking from a pipeline that runs from the Red Sea port of Shuqair to Mostorod refinery complex in Greater Cairo, according to Egypt’s petroleum ministry.
Video footage of the blaze shows thick black smoke rising from the flames and filling the sky. It has raised serious questions over safety standards and fire regulations in Egypt.
The ministry made no comment on why the pipeline was leaking just that it had cordoned off the road and the pipeline but the cars continued to pass by.
The incident comes just three days after a major fire broke out in a market in the Cairo neighbourhood of Helwan.
Authorities reported that the fire started after an electrical short circuit, but eyewitnesses said it began in a rubbish bin before spreading to a shop just next to the market.
The fire caused significant damage to the market destroying over 500 shops.
At the end of June, seven people died after a fire broke out at an intensive care unit treating coronavirus patients in a private hospital in Alexandria.
The source of the fire was thought to be an electric short circuit in the air conditioning unit on the ward.
In May a fire broke out at another coronavirus isolation centre in Cairo.