At Least 5 Killed in Iran Gas Pipeline Explosion

TEHRAN, Iran — A gas pipeline explosion in southwestern Iran killed at least five people and injured six, the Tasnim news agency reported.

The blast struck a pipeline between the city of Ahvaz city and the city of Mahshahr, near the Persian Gulf on Thursday

There was no confirmation of what caused the blast, but the Iranian Students News Agency ISNA quoted local official Kiamars Hajizadeh, as saying: "Gas leakage from a pipeline that linked the gas network from Mahshahr city to Ahvaz city, caused the blast."

"At least four people, including one child and a woman, were killed in the blast and five people were wounded," told ISNA.  AP reported at least five fatalities and six injuries.

Iran's state TV reported that five cars in the area had caught fire. "Fire fighters and ambulances have been dispatched to the area," state TV reported. Tasnim cited the fire chief in Ahvaz, Ali Torabpour, as saying that a bus and truck had also caught fire.

Initially, two people were reported killed but the death toll subsequently rose. Torabpour said he feared the casualty figures would increase further.

Iran is at a heightened risk of such incidents because of its aging infrastructure, which the country has struggled to maintain through years of Western sanctions. Poor safety measures also have been blamed by some authorities for past incidents.

From AP and Reuters reports

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