Number of workers in critical condition from refinery fire climbs to five

Five of six workers injured at the Aspropyrgos oil refinery west of Athens were in critical condition at different hospitals on Friday with extensive burns from a fire that broke out early in the morning.

All five are on life support, with doctors saying that the next 24 hours will be crucial to their chances of recovery.

The fire at Hellenic Petroleum started at around 8.20 a.m. during maintenance work on an old unit, according to sources, who said the blaze spread quickly across dry grass in the surrounding area.

Dozens of firefighters were dispatched to the scene to put out the blaze and ensure it did not spread to other parts of the facility where highly flammable materials are stored.

Energy Minister Panayiotis Lafazanis called for an emergency inquiry into the cause of the fire.

“Blame, where it exists, needs to be assigned right here, right now,” he said.

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