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Impact from Explosion in Torrance Refinery Felt Across L.A. County

Posted By Arnold & Itkin || 18-Feb-2015

Residents in Los Angeles County thought it was an earthquake. A severe shake rattled windows and structures of homes miles away from the ExxonMobil Refinery were a powerful explosion took place this Wednesday morning. Structures were ripped apart and smoke and flames could be seen coming out of the oil refinery that is located in the Torrance area.

Located just south of the 405 Freeway, the blast and resulting smoke was so intense that it required an air quality advisory. While there was believed to be no chemical release or harmful emissions, nearby homes and businesses are being advised to stay indoors and keep their windows shut. Ash was seen raining down on vehicles nearby the large refinery property. Torrance school officials took precautions by enforcing a sheltered-in-place order for staff and students at local schools due to the air issues.

Emergency Procedures Enacted, Workers Hospitalized

Shortly after the shaking, residents began spotting a large flare-up from the refinery plant’s burnoff stack. This is safety measure to help eliminate pressure and reduce chance of explosions like the one that took place at the refinery. Police reported three minor injuries, with four contractors sent to the hospital for further evaluation of their damages.

Emergency procedures were quickly put into place after the explosion, which reportedly took place around 8:50 a.m. this morning. According to statements from the ExxonMobil Torrance Refinery, all employees are working with the appropriate agencies to ensure that correct protocols are followed. They stated that their main focus was to maintain the safety of workers and surrounding neighbors.

While only minor injuries were reported, workers claimed that the blast was extremely strong and seemed as loud as a sonic boom. Currently, there has been no official cause identified in the explosion and the severity of the damage caused has not been fully assessed. Investigations into the accident will continue from both refinery officials and Torrance police.

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