Report: Refinery struck during war

Rocket landing inside Haifa refinery compound could have been catastrophic.

Haifa Petro 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Haifa Petro 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Almost eight months after the war in Lebanon came to an end, police lifted a gag order Thursday and said that during the fighting, a rocket fired by Hizbullah landed in a Haifa chemical refinery. The rocket, according to police, landed in an open space on factory grounds and only by sheer luck did not explode near any of the potentially hazardous chemicals stored there. The Haifa chemical refineries produce tons of sensitive chemicals. An explosion causing chemical fires at the site could potentially result in dozens or hundreds of casualties in the Haifa area. "It was frightening," recalled a refinery employee. "We saw the rocket enter the refinery ground and land near a building filled with sensitive materials." The war had a very adverse effect on the refinery industry. Production was halted for the entire duration of the war, and the company also had to stop maintenance of production facilities. As a consequent the cost of maintaining and fixing facilities was much higher by the end of the war because of cumulative damage.