Many dead in US refinery blast

A huge explosion in a US petrochemical plant in Texas City has killed at least 14 people and left more than 100 people injured.

    The plant is located in Texas City, 55km southeast of Houston

    The fire at the BP petrochemical plant on Wednesday triggered a major fire sending black smoke billowing into the sky.

    "It was just a real loud explosion," local resident Mike Martin said. "It sounded like a sonic boom, and it shook the pictures bad enough to where it knocked them off the wall. And it frightened me, so I jumped out of bed."

    Though what caused the blast is not yet known, authorities have ruled out terrorism as a cause.

    It is feared that the fatalities may rise.

    BP's Texas City plant is a sprawling industrial complex that stretches across 1200 acres with 30 refinery units.

    The plant processes 460 million barrels of crude oil every day, producing 3% of the US gasoline supply. It employs about 2000 people.

    Texas City is about 55km southeast of Houston.

    Last March, there was a blast and fire at a BP refinery in Texas City.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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