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WATCH LIVE: A major explosion and fire rocks an oil refinery in South Philadelphia early Friday morning. Crews continue to battle flames. https://cbsloc.al/2Kthtkf

Posted by CBS Philly on Friday, June 21, 2019
Home » Terminals » “Damn, this is bad” Philly mayor reacts to terminal fire

“Damn, this is bad” Philly mayor reacts to terminal fire

PortandTerminal.com, June 22, 2019

There are mounting concerns and questions over the huge oil refinery explosion and fire in South Philadelphia. As of Saturday afternoon, a small fire was still burning.

A small fire continued to burn Saturday afternoon more than 24 hours after a series of gas explosions at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery rocked South Philadelphia and sent a massive fireball into the air.

Flames and smoke emerge from the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex in Philadelphia

An isolated fire continues to burn, Philadelphia Energy Solutions says they are trying to find a safe way to cut off fuel to the fire, but for now, that fire is protecting against the gas finding another ignition source — similar to the way pilot light works in your home furnace.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney called for continued monitoring and regulation of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery after what he called a “frightening” blast rocked the facility Friday.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (file photo)

“My initial reaction was ‘Damn, this is bad,'” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said Saturday. “It was a frightening scene. I’m thankful that no one got killed or seriously injured.”

Philadelphia Energy Solutions

Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) is the largest and oldest oil refining complex on the eastern seaboard. Questions are now being raised about possible causes of the fire. In PES filing briefly for bankruptcy in 2018.

The company filed for bankruptcy in January 2018, blaming its problems largely on the costs of complying with the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, a 2005 law that requires refiners to either blend biofuels like ethanol into fuel or purchase credits, called RINs, from competitors who do.

PES does not have those blending capabilities, so it has to pay for credits. A Reuters analysis in February of this year showed other factors played a role in the bankruptcy, including the withdrawal of more than $590 million in dividend-style payments from the company by its investor-owners.

Expect to see significant scrutiny on PES’s safety standards as investigators look for a cause of Friday’s dramatic explosion and fire in Philadelphia.

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