Louisiana refinery releases findings of fire investigation

Local News

FILE – In this Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, file photo, a flame burns at the Shell Deer Park oil refinery in Deer Park, Texas. With the viral outbreak spreading to more countries, the price of oil has dropped precipitously as global demand weakens even further. That has sent shares tumbling for oil giants like Exxon and Chevron while smaller producers with idling rigs continue to slash jobs. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A February blaze inside ExxonMobil’s refinery in Louisiana’s capital city was caused by air getting into a line containing hydrocarbon material and igniting, the company said Monday, releasing the results of an internal investigation.

ExxonMobil said it will ensure the valves involved in the problem are locked in a closed position to prevent it from happening again.

The fire broke out at the refinery on February 11, turning the night sky a shade of orange and sending a large plume of smoke into the air over Baton Rouge. ExxonMobil said its volunteer fire crews put out the blaze hours later. No injuries were reported, officials said.

ExxonMobil is the largest manufacturing employer in Louisiana, and its Baton Rouge refinery is the fifth largest in the nation. The facility produces gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and more.

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