Pre-Dawn Philadelphia Refinery Explosion Rocks Surrounding Neighborhood
Explosions and a substantial fire at the largest refinery on the Eastern Seaboard roused area residents from their sleep at about 4:00 in the morning. According to officials with Philadelphia Energy Solutions, the operator of the refinery, the fire started in a vat of butane. A series of explosions followed the start of the blaze, resulting in flames shooting skyward and a thick plume of potentially toxic smoke arching above the massive refinery complex. Due to the potential contaminates contained in the smoke plume, people living or working in the area surrounding the refinery were directed to shelter in place.
The most powerful explosion occurred in the butane vat where the fire started. As the fire spread through a web of pipes that crisscross the facility, a series of smaller explosions occurred.
By mid-morning, the fire had been contained but bot extinguished. Following the initial explosions at the facility, no further blasts were reported. No injuries have been reported at the facility nor in the surrounding neighborhood. One refinery worker was checked by medical personnel after complaining of chest pain following the initial explosion. The worker evidently did not require further medical assistance.
The underlying cause of the fire is unknown at this time. Investigators will be dispatched to the scene when the blaze fully is extinguished. As of this time, reports from the scene indicate that only Philadelphia Energy Solutions employees were on site at the time of the incident. In other words, there do not appear to be any subcontractors or others on site that might ultimately be identified as contributing to the underlying cause of the fire and explosion in some way.
About the Refinery
As noted, the refinery is the largest on the Eastern Seaboard. It is also one of the oldest refineries in the United States, having been in operation for over 150 years. The refinery produces about 335,000 barrels of crude oil each day.
The June 21, 2019, fire is the second one at the refinery during the month. An earlier incident also resulted in a fire at the facility. No injuries were reported as a result of the previous fire at the refinery.
Health Risks of Toxic Smoke
A lingering problem associated with an incident like the Philadelphia refinery explosion involves the smoke emitted from the blaze and blast. Due to the nature of the chemicals maintained at refineries as part of the oil refining process, smoke from these fires can contain harmful, toxic substances. As a consequence, even in cases in which no immediate reports of injuries arise from a refinery explosion and fire, the fact remains that people may suffer negative health consequences at a future point in time.
Investigators will be charged with the task of specifically identifying the toxins that are present in the huge smoke plume created by the Philadelphia refinery explosion. People at potential risk include not only workers at a refinery itself but firefighters and other emergency personnel called to the scene. In addition, members of the public at large that are exposed to smoke from a refinery fire and explosion might also develop some type of health issue at a future point in time.
Philadelphia Refinery Fire Accident Lawyer Hotline
Because of the fact that refinery fire and explosions do impact the lives of people with some regularity, The Doan Law Firm established the Philadelphia refinery fire accident lawyer hotline at (267) 805-5000. The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Through the hotline, a person injured in some manner as the result of a refinery explosion and fire can obtain answers to questions from a capable, skilled, experienced Philadelphia refinery fire accident lawyer.
An initial consultation can be scheduled at our offices, conveniently located in the heart of Philadelphia at:
1650 Market Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103
The Doan Law Firm is a nationwide law firm, with offices located coast-to-coast across the United States.
The Doan Law Firm makes an attorney fee promise to you. Our firm never charges a fee for services unless we obtain a favorable settlement or judgment for you in your refinery explosion accident case. Simply, you pay nothing unless we win for you.