Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Vapor Cloud From Chevron Refinery Fire

Video Shows Vapor Cloud Before Chevron Refinery Fire By Jason Dearen, Associated Press 15 August 12

[excerpted] An internal Chevron Corp. surveillance video shows a towering vapor cloud engulfing an area of its refinery for two minutes before it ignited into a volatile blaze, federal investigators said Tuesday.

U.S. Chemical Safety Board officials said the video shows plant workers getting caught within the cloud shortly before the Aug. 6 blaze. More than a dozen workers managed to narrowly escape serious injury....

The vapor cloud was estimated to be about 150 to 200 feet high, as tall as the refinery tower. The blaze knocked an important refinery unit offline, reducing the facility's production and sending thousands of nearby residents to hospitals with breathing and eye irritation complaints.....

...Meanwhile, Contra Costa County health officials said Tuesday that more than 9,000 people went to emergency rooms for breathing problems and other health issues that might have been caused by smoke from the fire.

Many people were sickened by particulate matter in the smoke, said Wendel Brunner, director of public health for Contra Costa County...."

[end excerpt]


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