Egypt says looting attempt causes oil pipeline fire; 7 dead

November 13, 2019

CAIRO (AP) — A pipeline for oil products caught fire Wednesday when thieves tried to tap into it to siphon off gasoline in the Nile Delta province of Beheira, and at least seven people were killed, Egyptian officials said.

A health ministry spokesman, Ahmed Megahed, said the fire in the Itay el-Barud district also injured at least 16 other people, who were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment

The looters caused a leak when they tapped into the pipeline, spilling gasoline into the nearby area, including down a drain, Egypt’s petroleum ministry said. The fuel then caught fire, it said.

Footage posted online showed flames rising into the sky and people trying to put out the fire. Other footage showed other people attempting to collect the leaked fuel before the fire broke out.

Authorities said firefighters took at least three hours to extinguish the blaze, which damaged over a dozen vehicles in the area.

Police arrested one person on suspicion of trying to siphon from the pipeline, Beheira Gov. Hisham Amna, said in televised comments.

The pipeline moves fuel from the Mediterranean city of Alexandria to Egypt’s capital, Cairo,