Two reported killed in Chevron UK refinery blast

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 02, 2011 4:03 PM
Two reported killed in Chevron UK refinery blast

LONDON (Reuters) - A fire broke out on Thursday after an explosion at Chevron's oil refinery in south Wales and the BBC said there were reports of two deaths.

The local fire service said the fire at the 220,000 barrel per day Pembroke refinery, which sent a pall of black smoke into the air, had been put out.

"There was an explosion and a fire," a spokesman for the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service told Reuters.

The fire service said it sent 10 emergency vehicles to the scene.

Chevron confirmed an "incident" had occurred at the refinery at 6:20 p.m. (9:20 p.m. ET) and that the fire had been extinguished, but gave no further details about it or about any injuries.

"Emergency services were called and responded immediately and remain on the scene. ... We are taking appropriate action to respond to the situation. We are still in the process of accounting for all personnel," Chevron said in a statement.

The BBC said there were reports that two people had been killed and that witnesses had seen a fireball and smoke.

Valero Energy Corp said in March it would pay $730 million for Chevron's Pembroke refinery and other assets, and $1 billion for the plant's inventories, giving the U.S. refiner its first foothold in Europe.

Chevron put the refinery up for sale last year to lower its exposure to the refining business.

(Reporting by Michael Holden, Matt Falloon, Adrian Croft, Ikuko Kurahone; Editing by Marguerita Choy)