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


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.”

Ultimate Disrespect: Did Biden Doze Off During Memorial Day Address?

“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.

Shocking Footage: Barge Crashes into Bridge, Causing Partial Collapse and Oil Spill

“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.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , ,