Published: Sun, June 23, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Huge fire breaks out at Philadelphia oil refinery

Huge fire breaks out at Philadelphia oil refinery

The shelter-in-place order, which was issued as a precautionary measure due to smoke plume, was lifted shortly after 7 a.m. and Philadelphia Energy Solutions said there were no detectable inhalants, but would monitor the air quality.

Officials in Philadelphia have confirmed an early morning fire at a 150-year-old refinery complex. "We went out back, and we were looking at it, and as we were standing there something else blew up, ... so it was kinda scary", he told the station.

Authorities are working to account for all of the personnel, Philadelphia Energy Solutions spokeswoman Cherice Corely said - though Murphy said no one who'd been at the facility is missing. PES said they believe the product that was burning was "mostly propane".

The fire, contained on the property, wasn't immediately brought under control.

City health officials said in the afternoon there were no findings suggesting any dangers to the surrounding community, according to Philadelphia Department of Public Health spokesman James Garrow in a statement.

According CBS News, a Value-Added Tax of butane caught on fire early this morning and eventually exploded.

The facility - in the south of the city, a few miles from Philadelphia International Airport - is the 10th largest refinery in the United States and the largest oil refining complex on the Eastern Seaboard, according to its website. The company said four injuries were reported. The company went through a bankruptcy process previous year to reduce its debt.

Despite PES filing briefly for bankruptcy in 2018, O'Callahan does not feel that any kind of safety measures were lacking.

Depending on the extent of the damage, there will be questions as to whether the company has enough money to rebuild. Twitter users reacted to the explosion, with one posting: "I live blocks away from the refinery, the explosion tapped our windows". Gasoline futures rose 4 percent on Friday on the news.

Analysts said gasoline supply in the Northeast could be affected by the outage.

Some residents said the blast knocked art off of their walls, reported NBC Philadelphia.

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