- Massive fire engulfed hundreds of trucks at Islam Qala on February 13
- Pics indicate debris continues to smoulder days after first explosion
- Damage is believed to be in the range of $50 million
High resolution satellite imagery shows the impact of a massive fire that engulfed hundreds of trucks on February 13 at Afghanistan’s Islam Qala, a key border crossing between Afghanistan and Iran’s Herat province. At least 60 people were injured, news agency AFP reported.
The new images are from Maxar’s WorldView-3 satellite and were shot on Wednesday. The images indicate that debris continues to smoulder days after the initial explosion which was visible from space.
More than 500 trucks carrying natural gas and fuel were destroyed.
The Islam Qala border crossing is a lifeline for millions in Afghanistan. As part of a special concession, the United States allows Afghanistan to import fuel and oil from Iran.
The impact of the fire was so intense that Afghanistan had to shut down electrical supply from Iran, leaving the western city of Herat in the dark.
The damage is believed to be in the range of $50 million. “Around $50 million of damage has been caused by the fire, but a more accurate figure will be available in the coming days,” Younus Qazi Zada, the head of the Herat Chamber of Commerce, was quoted as saying by AFP on Sunday.
“The catastrophe was much bigger than imagined,” he said.
The Islam Qala border crossing, located in an area where the Taliban roam freely, is on a dangerous stretch of highway located 120 km west of Herat.
Videos posted on social media on Saturday night showed the towering fire and huge clouds of thick black smoke billowing into the sky.
During the blaze looters descended on the site, stealing goods that were being imported and exported across the border.