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Smoke billowing from the Chevron refinery fire yesterday.
Smoke billowing from the Chevron refinery fire yesterday.
Image: AP Photo/Eric Risberg

Major Chevron refinery fire forces San Francisco Bay residents indoors

One refinery worker sustained minor injuries after fire broke out at Chevron plant in Richmond yesterday evening.
Aug 7th 2012, 11:24 AM 2,680 0

SCORES OF SAN Francisco Bay residents have sought medical attention for breathing problems following a major fire at one of America’s largest refineries.

A fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond was reported yesterday evening and has since been contained, though it has not been fully extinguished.

One refinery worker reportedly suffered burns but his injuries are not life-threatening.

City officials subsequently issued a shelter-in-place warning advising residents in the Richmond and San Pablo areas to stay indoors, close all windows and doors and turn off ventilation systems. They also advised people to bring their pets indoors, if possible. The shelter-in-place warning was lifted later yesterday.

Medical centres in San Pablo and Richmond have reported over 200 people requesting assistance for breathing issues early this morning, though none has been reported as being seriously ill.

Nigel Hearne, a manager at the refinery, told the San Francisco Chronicle that a diesel leak was discovered in the No 4 Crude Unit yesterday evening and that the area was subsequently evacuated, after which the diesel caught fire.

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- Additional reporting by the AP

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Susan Ryan

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