One Dead After Explosion in Bosnian Oil Refinery

One worker died and six others were taken to hospital for treatment after an explosion on Tuesday in the oil refinery in the town of Brod, in the north of Bosnia's mainly Serb entity, Republika Srpska. The explosion occurred in the petroleum processing facility at around 9:30pm local time and the cause is still unknown.

It was after midnight when firefighters managed to localise the fire that erupted after the fierce explosion that damaged the oil-processing plant and smashed glass in nearby homes.

"At around 3am, the body of one employee was found. He was killed in the explosion at the refinery," Brod's Mayor, Ilija Jovicic, told Radio Republika Srpska.

The refinery in Brod, as well as the refinery in Modrica and Nestro Petrol in Banja Luka, form part of Optima Group, which is majority-owned by NefteGazInkor, a subsidiary of the Russian company Zarubezhneft.

"We point out that the air quality indicators are within normal limits and there is no danger to the health of the inhabitants of Brod and neighbouring municipalities," Optima Group said on Wednesday.

The explosion also echoed in the neighbouring Croatian town of Slavonski Brod.

The towns of Brod and Slavonski Brod are divided only by the river Sava, which forms the state border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Citizens of Slavonski Brod have protested for years over the pollution that comes from the nearby refinery in the neighbouring state.

On Wednesday, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic was due to attend a meeting on energy-related issued in Slavonski Brod.

The meeting was scheduled before the explosion. The Croatian daily Jutarnji list said the main topic would be gasification of the Brod refinery, which...

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