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An explosion and fire were reported at the Valero refinery in Meraux, LA on Friday. Image courtesy of Pixabay

1 Hurt in Blast, Fire at Valero Refinery in Louisiana

One person was injured in a fire and explosion at the Valero refinery in Meraux, LA in the early hours of Friday morning, local news organizations reported. 

A unit inside the plant exploded and caught on fire at about 1 a.m., St. Bernard Parish Fire Chief Thomas Stone said in coverage by CBS News affiliate WWL TV. Crews had the flames controlled around 3 a.m.

“Initial reports indicate a pressure relief valve blew and caused a blue flash flame/explosion,” Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality spokesperson Gregory Langley told the New Orleans Times-Picayune

The fire started in a hydrocracker, which is used to process gas oil into transportation fuels, according to an account by Reuters. Valero told the news wire service that its Meraux site processes 125,000 bl/day. 

During the response, an injured worker was transported to an area hospital, but reports did not include details on their condition.

Valero is a petroleum refiner and a producer of ethanol. 

An explosion a Valero Energy refinery in Texas City, TX in April 2018 caused a massive fire with flames that reached as high as 100 ft, Powder & Bulk Solids reported. The blast was thought to have originated in a 12,000-bpd alkylation unit that transformed by-products into gasoline additives.

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