Fiery explosion at largest refinery on US west coast

Marathon Petroleum Corp refinery on fire. (Twitter pic/lapunjabiradio)

LOS ANGELES: A fire in a cooling tower, following an explosion, at Marathon Petroleum Corp’s Carson refinery in California on Tuesday, has been “confined and supply has been shut off,” the Los Angeles County Fire Department said on Twitter.

It was not immediately clear whether supply had been cut off to the affected portion of the plant, or the entire refinery.

Residual fuel is burning off at the plant, the fire department added.

“Marathon personnel (are) keeping flames in check via fixed ground monitors while they work to depressurise the system. LACOFD assisting,” the fire department tweeted.

No injuries have been reported at this time, a Fox News affiliate reported.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said on Twitter that the perimeter around the Marathon refinery had been secured and that they did not anticipate the need to evacuate residents.

In a filing with the state pollution regulator, the refinery reported an “electrical/mechanical malfunction”.

Marathon, which operates the 363,000 barrel-per-day plant, was not immediately available for comment.