1 Hurt in Blast, Fire at Valero Refinery in Louisiana

April 13, 2020

2 Min Read
1 Hurt in Blast, Fire at Valero Refinery in Louisiana
An explosion and fire were reported at the Valero refinery in Meraux, LA on Friday. Image courtesy of Pixabay

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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