The massive oil depot blaze in Phnom Penh was still burning today (September 21) although rain had helped firefighters quench some of the fires.
The massive oil depot blaze in Phnom Penh was still burning today (September 21) although rain had helped firefighters quench some of the fires. The blaze was started early on Monday (September 20) by communist commandos, who sneaked into the neighbouring oil storage depots of the Esso and Shell organisation and fired rockets at giant storage tanks from close range. It was the most daring communist attack inside the Phnom Penh city limits since the Indo-China war extended into the Khmer Republic last year. One Khmer soldiers was killed an three wounded in the half-hour raid.
This film shows some spectacular sequences of the blaze at its height.
SYNOPSIS: Phnom Penh, Monday....and a massive oil depot fire. It followed one of the most daring communist commando attacks inside the city limits since the Indo-China war spread into the Khmer Republic last year. The blaze, which set alight most of the 29 giant oil and petrol storage tanks in two neighbouring depots, began when the communist commandos fired rockets into the installations from close range. During the raid, which lasted half an hour, one Khmer soldier was killed and three others wounded.
The fires were still raging on Tuesday morning, despite the efforts of firefighters and troops. Later, some rain helped quench part of the blaze, but 36 hours after the attack several tanks were still alight. Damage was provisionally estimated at GBP333,000 sterling (800,000 U.S. dollars). About 444,000 gallons of fuel was lost,and in the city all petrol stations were closed down after a rush by motorists who feared a shortage. Supplies were reserved for ambulances only. Military forces will not be affected as they have their own storage depots.
North Vietnamese forces staged two further attacks inside the Khmer Republic on Monday night. Five civilians and three soldiers were wounded in a rocket and mortar attack 15 miles north of the capital, and in a battle 70 miles south west of Phnom Penh five people died and several others were wounded.