California refinery unit down for maintenance before fire

TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California oil refinery unit that was damaged by an explosion was already offline for unplanned maintenance when the fire occurred, industry analysts said Thursday.

The so-called fluid catalytic cracker unit refines gasoline and is critical to producing California-grade fuel. It was down for two days after problems with a recently repaired component within it when another component exploded, the Oil Price Information Service, which tracks the oil industry, said Thursday. The blast caused a fire that shook the neighborhood on Wednesday and rained debris and ash on nearby lawns. Four contractors were taken to the hospital for evaluation for minor injuries.


Explosion rocks Southern California oil refinery

TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — An explosion and fire tore through part of a Southern California oil refinery, shattering both a four-story structure and the peace of people whose nearby homes shook from the blast.

Wednesday's blast occurred in a recently installed processing facility, Fire Department spokesman Steve Deuel said. Four contractors suffered minor injuries.


Fire smolders a 3rd day from W.Va. oil train derailment

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A fire triggered by the derailment of a train carrying crude oil is smoldering for a third day in southern West Virginia.

State public safety division spokesman Larry Messina said Wednesday that the fire was 85 percent contained.


Blast devastates refinery, sends ash raining down on area

TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — An explosion devastated part of a major refinery on Wednesday morning, raining down ash in the area and, experts say, likely helping to increase California gas prices, which have been creeping up in recent weeks.

A huge smokestack flare — in which workers were burning off flammable product after the explosion — could be seen for miles around. Four contractors suffered minor injuries as workers fled the site of the blast, according to ExxonMobil, which owns the refinery.


W.Va. oil train derailment was 1 of 3 with safer tank cars

MOUNT CARBON, W.Va. (AP) — The fiery derailment of a train carrying crude oil in West Virginia is one of three in the past year involving tank cars that already meet a higher safety standard than what federal law requires — leading some to suggest even tougher requirements that industry representatives say would be prohibitively costly.

Hundreds of families were evacuated and nearby water treatment plants were temporarily shut down after cars derailed from a train carrying 3 million gallons of North Dakota crude Monday, shooting fireballs into the sky, leaking oil into a Kanawha River tributary and burning down a house nearby. It was snowing at the time, but it is not yet clear if weather was a factor.


Oil train with safety upgrades derails and explodes in W.Va.

MOUNT CARBON, W.Va. (AP) — Fires were still burning more than a day after an oil train carrying more than 3 million gallons of crude derailed in a snowstorm, shooting fireballs into the sky and leaking oil into a West Virginia waterway.

Hundreds of families were evacuated and two water treatment plants were temporarily shut down after 19 of the tanker cars left the tracks and caught fire, burning a nearby house down to its foundation.


Oil trains: More robust tank cars not enough


Monday’s fiery West Virginia derailment -- which involved newer model tank cars – has given ammunition to those who say further steps are needed to ensure oil train safety, including better track maintenance and automated braking systems, FuelFix reports.


Cleanup after Ontario derailment continuing

CBC News

Crews were battling fire and frigid temperatures Monday as they worked to clean up after a weekend Canadian National Railway oil train derailment in remote Ontario, CBC News reports.


West Virginia train derails: Fires, oil tanker into river

MOUNT CARBON, W.Va. (AP) — Fires burned for nearly nine hours after a train carrying more than 100 tankers of crude oil derailed in a snowstorm in West Virginia, plunging at least one tanker into a river while sending a fireball into the sky, authorities and residents say.

Officials evacuated hundreds of families and shut down two water treatment plants threatened by oil seeping into the river following the Monday afternoon derailment. A state public safety division spokesman, Lawrence Messina, said fire crews decided to let the tanks burn themselves out.


Train derails in West Virginia, oil tanker plunges into river

MOUNT CARBON, W.Va. (AP) — A train carrying more than 100 tankers of crude oil derailed in southern West Virginia on Monday, sending at least one into the Kanawha River, igniting at least 14 tankers and sparking a house fire, officials said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries. Nearby residents were told to evacuate as a state emergency response and environmental officials headed to the scene about 30 miles southeast of Charleston.


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