Fire engulfs Taiwan refinery

Article by Adam Duckett

AN explosion at an oil refinery in Taiwan set off a fire yesterday that took hours to extinguish.

The National Fire Agency reports that no-one was injured in the blast or resulting fire at the refinery in Taoyuan City. The agency was called to the incident at 06:42 local time, and while it had the fire under control within the hour it took until 15:30 to put it out.

The refinery had been shut down for a month for maintenance. Refinery-owner CPC said the incident occurred as it restarted a hydrodesulfurisation plant. It suspects that a heating furnace tube had ruptured, triggering the fire which spread to cover an area measuring 50 m2.

Videos of the fire show the refinery is located close to residents, who reported to local press that the explosion rattled the windows in their homes. The New York Times reports that the mayor of Taoyuan called on the company to fulfil a promise made in 2003 to relocate the refinery to a less densely-populated area. 

Article by Adam Duckett

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