Fire Causes Extensive Damage to Araba; Cause of Blaze Not Immediately Known

A fire raged today through the chemical combine of Araba, located in the Negev between Beersheba and the Dead Sea, ravaging a section of the plant and gutting three giant acidification tanks and other equipment. The cause of the blaze was not immediately known, nor was an estimate immediately available of the amount of damage. It was reported, however, that damage was extensive. The tanks were designed to produce phosphoric acid according to a specially-developed Israeli patented process which undercuts European manufacturers. It is felt that Israel’s chemical export prospects would suffer a severe setback because of the extensive damage.