Huge explosion, massive fire at Crockett Refinery near San Francisco


I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
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CROCKETT (CBS SF) — An explosion and fire ripped through storage tanks at a refinery in Crockett Tuesday, sending flames and smoke billowing into the skies and forcing the closure of a stretch of Interstate 80.
The incident began around 2 p.m. at a storage tank farm at NuStar Energy refinery nestled in the hills above the 90 block of San Pablo Ave. The fire ignited the vegetation on a hillside bordering the storage tanks.

Contra Costa Health Services said one of the tank is believed to contain ethanol, and the other tank was believed empty. A report from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services also indicated the tanks stored ethanol.
NuStar has not been able to immediately confirm what was stored in the tanks.
Firefighters were battling the vegetation flames but appeared to be letting the fuel burn itself out. Firefighting aircraft dropped water and retardant on the hillside surrounding the storage tanks.
A shelter in place order was issued for residents in the area warning of hazardous materials being released. The smoke plume could be seen for miles including from San Francisco.

The fire was burning just a few hundred feet from Interstate 80 just south of the Cummings Skyway in Crockett. Aside from I-80, authorities closed a number of roads in the area because of the fire.

Earlier, witnesses reported explosions shaking the area. Video showed large flames and black smoke coming from the location where two of the 8,000-gallon storage tanks have collapsed.

A woman was loading her tanker truck at the refinery, when the explosion rocked the facility.
“I was loading my truck at that facility when it exploded,” said the woman, identified as Michelle. “I had just pulled off the rack and gotten my paperwork. I had my head down doing paperwork and I felt the ground rumble. I knew there was an earthquake yesterday. So I didn’t panic.”
“But I looked up and saw a bunch of people running. I looked and I saw the fire and the smoke. I immediately started my truck and headed up the hill. I got to the top of the Cummings Skyway and I could see the tops of two tanks completely engulfed in flames.”

The shelter-in-place order urged people in the area to go inside, close all windows and doors, and turn off all heaters, air conditioners, and fans. In addition, people were urged to cover any cracks around doors or windows with tape or damp towels and remain indoors until further instruction.
Children, the elderly, and individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions would be the people most affected.
Perhaps it will burn some of the turds and homeless off the streets there...