A hearth roared by way of a number of gas tankers on the northern fringe of the Afghan capital late Saturday, injuring no less than 10 folks and plunging a lot of the town into darkness, officers mentioned.
It wasn’t instantly identified if the hearth was unintentional or intentional approaching the official begin of the ultimate withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops, ending America’s longest warfare. The Inside Ministry mentioned Sunday the incident is beneath investigation.
All 2,500-3,500 American troopers and about 7,000 NATO allied forces will probably be out of Afghanistan on the newest by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist assaults in the USA that first introduced them into the nation.
Inside Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian mentioned the hearth started when a spark set one gas tanker ablaze. A number of tankers close by have been rapidly engulfed, sending large flames and plumes of smoke into the evening sky.
A number of properties within the space have been additionally broken and a few destroyed. Electrical energy traces have been downed, leaving a lot of the capital, that usually has solely sporadic energy, fully with out electrical energy.
The fireplace got here quickly after the bulk Muslim nation, marking the holy month of Ramadan when the devoted quick from dawn to sundown, had ended their day-long quick.
One of many drivers, Haji Mir, mentioned the explosion was deafening as vehicles have been lined up getting into the town.
“The primary explosion appeared like a mine explosion,” he mentioned. “There was flames taking pictures from one truck after which a second truck exploded, and a 3rd.” He estimated that as many as 100 tucks could have burned.
Dozens of tankers have been transferring slowly into the capital on the time of the blaze. They’d been ready till after 9 pm when gas tankers and different giant vehicles are allowed to enter the town.
Obaidullah, a resident within the space, mentioned the fireballs have been monumental. His household and neighbors bumped into their yards.
“Fireplace lit up the sky,” he mentioned.
Drivers have been screaming for assist as flames leapt from automobile to automobile and even set ablaze a gas station. “Drivers have been yelling that their co-drivers have been caught and have been burning.”
Afghanistan’s firefighters arrived however their capability is proscribed and it took hours to convey the hearth beneath management. On Sunday morning, flames nonetheless leapt from the smouldering ruins.