Russians deny blast as oil refinery burns in Urals

An oil refinery has caught fire near the city of Ufa in the Urals with Russian officials denying reports of an explosion.

A spokeswoman for Bashneft, owner of the Novoil refinery, said an oil reservoir had caught fire during maintenance work.

"The refinery is working as usual," she told Reuters news agency.

Emergency officials in the Bashkortostan region said nobody had been hurt as a result of the fire.

Nor, they added, was there any threat to people in the area or the plant itself.

Novoil processed 6,641,000 tones of crude oil last year, according to Thomson Reuters.

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