Massive explosion causes blazing inferno near F1 track in Saudi Arabia

FIA bosses monitoring the situation in Jeddah after a massive explosion occurs at a petrol facility 12 miles from the Saudi Arabia F1 circuit

As the first practice session for Sunday’s Saudi Arabia F1 Grand Prix was taking place at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit today, Friday, March 25, a massive explosion occurred at a petrol facility just 12 miles away.

Live television cameras covering the second Formula One race of this season showed thick black smoke coming from the Aramco site. People from all over the city reported seeing the black smoke filling the sky. The blast happened not long before the end of the session.

Posting on social media, Chris Medland, the F1 reporter said FIA bosses are “awaiting further information from the authorities regarding what has happened at the Aramco facility”.

The worry for all concerned with the race is that just a few days ago a similar incident took place. A missile slammed into another oil depot in Jeddah. FIA chiefs had previously commented that they were monitoring the situation.

“I can smell burning… is it my car?”, world champion Max Verstappen was heard asking over the team radio, as the fumes from the blaze blew across towards the circuit.

Responsibility for a series of previous attacks on Saudi Arabia has had been claimed by the Houthi rebels, but there has been no word yet on today’s incident. A new information channel opened by the rebels though said it would be releasing news later today.

The FIA was condemned internationally for taking their race calendar to Saudi Arabia in view of its human rights record, and among other issues, its anti-gay laws. It remains to be seen what action, if any, the FIA takes with regards to today’s incident.

“We are awaiting further information from the authorities on what has happened”, said a statement from the entity. A worrying aspect is that all flights approaching Jeddah have been officially told to remain in the air, or have already been diverted to alternative airports, as reported by mirror.co.uk.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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