An explosion has hit at a gas compressor station in Egypt’s northern Sinai Peninsula, triggering a huge fire along the gas pipeline, Egyptian media and witnesses said.
Egypt’s state TV said the explosion was the result of an attack, but provided no further details. The report could not be confirmed independently.
The blast went off at a gas compressor station near the Sinai town of el-Arish, several hundred yards away from the local airport, witnesses said. From the compressor station, gas pipelines run to Jordan and Israel.
El-Arish is about 44 miles from the Gaza Strip.
There were no immediate reports of casualties and it was not known if gas exports to Israel and Jordan have been discontinued because of the explosion.
The gas pipeline has come under attack in the past.
Bedouin tribesmen of the Sinai Peninsula attempted to blow up the pipeline last July as tensions intensified between them and the Egyptian government, which they accuse of discrimination and of ignoring their plight.
Neighbouring Israel relies on the gas pipeline to meet its energy needs and spends billions to bring natural gas from Egypt.