Fire occurs at Marathon Petroleum refinery in California

Article by Amanda Doyle

A LARGE fire has been reported at the Marathon Petroleum refinery in Carson, California, following an explosion.

There are no reports of injuries, and no evacuations of nearby residents occurred. According to FOX 11 Los Angeles, an explosion was reported before the fire, and aerial footage showed at least two more explosions afterwards. Aerial footage from Global News can be seen here.

The fire started at around 22:50 local time on 25 February and was extinguished at around 03:50 on 26 February. According to FOX 11 Los Angeles, most of the refinery is still operational.

The refinery is located 21 km south of downtown Los Angeles. It has a crude oil capacity of 364,000 bbl/d and is the largest refinery on the west coast, according to the company’s website.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the fire occurred in a section of the plant that had recently been cited for workplace safety violations. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) visited the refinery in July 2019 and found that the company failed to provide training to unit operators before introducing new maintenance procedures, and did not allow the maintenance crew to review the changes.

In November 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency rescinded a rule that was designed to improve safety at chemical facilities.

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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