An oil and gas pipeline in Iran’s Khuzestan province exploded and caught fire on Wednesday in what the official media said was the result of metal “fatigue”.

While Iran’s Tasnim news agency affiliated with the Revolutionary Guard said an oil pipeline exploded, Images sent by local residents show huge, ferocious flames shooting into the sky, in what seems more likely to have been a gas pipeline fire.

A tweet from the scene by an account tagged as “Iranworkers” also mentions a gas pipeline explosion, the second in less than a month in the same area.

Residents in a village nearby also reported a strong initial explosion that felt “like an earthquake”.

There have been many explosions and fires in Iran’s military and industrial site since mid-2020, with authorities not giving a full explanation in many instances. However, they have blamed Israel for a series of spectacular sabotage attacks on nuclear facilities, including two explosions at Natanz uranium enrichment center.

The oil and gas industries have also experienced many incidents of exploding pipelines and refineries where large fires ignited.

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