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Philadelphia Oil Refinery Erupts With Fire And Explosions

A refinery fire that caused a series of explosions felt for miles has been contained in Philadelphia.

The fire is estimated to have erupted shortly before 4 a.m. local time, with emergency management officials launching warning sirens and a shelter-in-place recommendation at approximately 5:30 a.m.

The warning was ultimately lifted, with the ensuing explosions being felt as far away as South Jersey. “I thought it was a meteor or something,” a resident, who lives near the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery, told local outlet WCAU.  

While the cause of the initial fire has not been determined, a Philadelphia Fire Department official said the blaze started in a vat of butane at the refinery complex (the largest on the Eastern Seaboard). 

While no injuries have been reported, a local CBS update notes that a refinery employee did make chest pain complaints. That person was treated at the scene. 

The city’s Department of Public Health confirmed Friday morning that Air Management Services officials were at the scene “immediately” to obtain air quality samples. Initial testing, they said, determined that no ambient carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, or hydrogen sulfides had been found at the refinery or in the surrounding community. 

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