At 11:30 this morning, a massive explosion took place at the AGE Refining Inc. oil and fuel refinery in San Antoion, Texas. A massive fire remains out of control in southeast San Antonio, resulting in evacuations and the strongest firefighting efforts. An 18-wheeler that was refueling at the 13,500-barrel-a-day plant owned by AGE Refining Inc. exploded. There were 100 employees at the plant working at the time of the Texas Refinery Explosion. At least one witness said he recalls a previous fire at this refinery about two years ago.
A one-mile off-limits radius has been set up around the AGE Refining Inc. complex. Local electrical outages have been reported in the immediate area.
Before actual firefighting took place, emergency crews had to cool the large tanks to prevent them from reaching a point of exposure. About 2 p.m. fighters were able to locate and shut down two critical valves under a “recon” operation, but say the fire will probably have to burn out a great deal into the night if they can actually start foaming the fire later.
AGE Refining Inc. provides jet, diesel and other products for Lackland and Randolph Air Force bases and Kelly Field. It has a capacity of storing 208, 000 barrels on site and refines up to 13,500 barrels daily.
An evacuation shelter has been set up at Highland Forest Elementary school at 3736 Military Drive. Persons near the area, especially those with respiratory concerns, have been strongly urged to vacate the area.
“We heard a big explosion and it knocked a picture off of our wall,” said Hector Torres, a local resident. “It was loud and when we saws the fire coming out of all that smoke, we were worried about the chemicals so we left.”
At least one person, the driver of the 18-wheeler that initially exploded during fueling, is being treated at a local hospital. Another man was treated for some bumps and bruises and a third person has been reported as missing. There are conflicting reports concerning how many workers were injured and what the extent of their injuries were.
The San Antonio River Authority, is working with other emergency responders to prevent chemical and other runoff. The bad run of high-profile explosions continues on or near the Gulf Coast Region. The entire Gulf Coast is still reeling after the Transocean Deepwater Horizon explosion just a few short days ago. It’s not like Texas Refinery Accident Attorneys needed yet another reminder of the dangers related to energy extraction and processing, coming as it does does after two deadly coal mine accidents and the continuing massive spill of oil in the Gulf of Mexico.