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Watch: US Oil Refinery Explodes, Enormous Inferno Seen from Miles Away

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South Philadelphia early-warning sirens blasted in the wee hours Friday morning after an oil refinery went up in flames, resulting in several sizable explosions.

The largest refinery complex on the East Coast, Philadelphia Energy Solutions caught fire at approximately 4 a.m., according to WCAU.

In the hours that followed, three explosions created mushroom-clouds that could be seen for miles and shock-waves that reportedly were recorded as far as southern New Jersey.

In fact, Ryan Hanrahan, chief meteorologist at WVIT Connecticut, remarked on Twitter that the fire and explosions were picked up from space as a small blip via satellite.

“The refinery explosion in Philadelphia this morning was so intense it was detected by the GOES-16 satellite in space,” Hanrahan wrote. “The brief black ‘blob’ that appears indicates an area of intense heat that the shortwave IR sensor picked up.”

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“I thought it was a meteor or something,” a resident who lived in a neighborhood near the PES facility told WCAU.

Others told the TV outlet they were woken by various blasts, which knocked decorations from walls in their homes.

Several individuals in the area also posted video of the blasts to social media.

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“Just witnessed this explosion heading to Philly airport … praying no one was hurt,” one commuter wrote in a tweet accompanied by video of the incident.

According to WPVI-TV, however, both PES and the Philadelphia Fire Department have reported injuries to four PES personnel.

These injuries were reportedly minor, and all four workers were treated by the on-site medical team as the fire department worked to contain the blaze.

Do you think oil refineries need more safety measures?

Philadelphia Fire Department officials also said in a morning news conference that the fire took 120 firemen and 51 vehicles to contain, and it was started when a vat of butane ignited in the facility, according to the Associated Press. The exact cause of that fire had not been determined.

It did result in closure of the Platt Bridge and Interstates 76 and 95, as well as a shelter-in-place order early in the morning, according to WCAU.

All of these routes have since been reopened, and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health reported finding “no ambient carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons (combustibles), or hydrogen sulfides” in the air, according to a statement.

The department recommended no further evacuation or shelter-in-place.

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Andrew J. Sciascia is the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal. Having joined up as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, he went on to cover the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for the outlet, regularly co-hosting its video podcast, "WJ Live," as well.
Andrew J. Sciascia is the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal and regularly co-hosts the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."

Sciascia first joined up with The Western Journal as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, before graduating with a degree in criminal justice and political science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and worked briefly as a political operative with the Massachusetts Republican Party.

He has since covered the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for The Western Journal, and now focuses his reporting on Congress and the national campaign trail. His work has also appeared in The Daily Caller.




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