Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Huge fire erupts at San Francisco Bay oil refinery forcing more than 160,000 residents to stay indoors

A huge fire broke out at the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond, California on Monday night forcing mroe than 160,000 residents to stay indoors to protect themselves from the hazardous smoke.

The fire, which authorities said was still blazing more than two and a half hours after it erupted, hit the sole crude unit at the 245,000 barrel per day (bpd) plant, which accounts for one-eighth of the state's refining capacity.

A lasting outage at the refinery could cause a swift rise in gasoline prices across the West Coast, a region that is isolated from other markets.

At least two large blazes erupted at the refinery sending thick plumes of black smoke into the air over the San Francisco Bay-area plant.

Fire crews are fighting to contain the blaze, which erupted at 6.15pm, and can be seen for miles across the city. There have been no fatalities, one of the refinery workers was injured with non life-threatening burns. The cause of the fire is not yet known. Read More