Damascus: A worker was killed in an explosion during maintenance at Syria’s largest oil refinery on Thursday, Syrian state media said.

“A tank exploded at the Banias refinery during welding,” state news agency SANA said.

Oil Minister Ali Ghanem, quoted by SANA, said one other person was wounded in the blast during maintenance work.

In June, Damascus accused an unnamed foreign entity of “sabotage” of underwater pipelines to the oil refinery located in the regime’s heartland on the Mediterranean Sea.

Syria’s eight-year war has seen the Damascus government lose control of key oil fields, forcing it to resort to importing hydrocarbons.

Western sanctions on Syrian oil shipments as well as US punitive measures against government ally Iran have complicated imports.