TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) – An explosion at an Exxon Mobil refinery in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance triggered a huge smokestack flare, raining down ash and leaving two with minor injuries.
A Fire Department spokesman told KCBS-TV that the Wednesday morning blast most likely involved gasoline.
Residents within a mile or two reported feeling a sharp jolt that they initially thought was an earthquake.
TV news helicopters showed a structure several stories tall with damage and spewing smoke. Crews were pouring water on it more than two hours after the blast.
The facility’s flare system was triggered to burn off fuel that could add to the fire.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a smoke advisory for areas surrounding the refinery. Students at 13 nearby schools were being kept indoors.
(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)