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DECEMBER 2020

Explosion Rocks Largest Oil Refinery Plant On West Coast

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

A massive explosion ripped through the largest oil refinery plant on the West Coast in the overnight hours, sending giant fireballs into the sky, visible from 20 miles away.

Fire crews on Tuesday night were dispatched to the Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s refinery in Carson, California, around 10:50 pm PST for reports of an explosion in a cooling tower.

Explosion Rocks Largest Oil Refinery Plant On West Coast

The Los Angeles County Fire Department (LAFD) said the fire was contained hours later in the early hours on Wednesday morning.

Pricilla Reyes, a resident of Carson, told NBC Los Angeles that she heard multiple explosions at the plant before the fire broke out.

NBC Los Angeles’ photographer Kenny Holmes said the fire was visible from 22 miles away in Santa Monica.

LAFD said fire crews worked with refinery personnel to keep the flames in check via “fixed ground monitors” while working to depressurize the system.

LAFD said there was no need for a community evacuation considering the fire was contained.

The refinery is the largest on the West Coast, processing upwards of 363,000 barrels per day. The plant processes crude to make gasoline and diesel fuel, along with distillates, petroleum coke, anode-grade coke, chemical-grade propylene, fuel-grade coke, heavy fuel oil, and propane.

There was no word via Marathon or any other authorities if supply disruptions would be seen thanks to the incident.

Dramatic video of fireballs lighting up Carson’s sky was captured on Twitter.

One Twitter handle said the incident forced LAFD to close northbound lanes of the 405 Freeway for approximately 30 minutes while crews battled the fire.

Helicopter video from NBC Los Angeles captures an impressive video of the incident.

The incident comes as WTI tumbles into a bear market, down -25% in the last 33 sessions, mostly due to a demand shock from China after the Covid-19 outbreak shut down two-thirds of its economy.

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