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Crane Collapses at Exxon Mobil in Torrance; Three Injured

Exxon is now flaring for safety; accident scene described as stable.

 

The scene was declared "stable" by fire officials at about 11 a.m. The injured workers did not require hospital treatment.

A 300 ton crane collapsed at Torrance's ExxonMobil refinery at about 9:30 a.m. The collapse inflicted minor injuries on three workers. The 300-ton crane was being used in the operational portion of the refinery, on 190th Street near Crenshaw. It suddenly fell for reasons that are under investigation, said Torrance Fire Department Battalion Chief Bob Miller.

"Initially, some flammable gas was suppressed by water monitors," Millea said. "There were no offsite impacts." The accident scene was declared "stable" by fire officials at about 11 a.m. The injured workers did not require hospital treatment.

Millea did not know what caused the crash or what equipment was damaged, causing them to use flaring stacks designed to more safely release overpressurized chemicals into the air. Such burn-offs, or flares, can be triggered by an unexpected halt in refinery operations or mechanical failures.

The controversial refinery scheduled to be sold to PBF refining, which bought it for $537.5 million last year. In February 2015, an explosion on the site damaged a piece of pollution-control equipment and reduced the refinery's production capacity. The blast sent debris across a mile radius and nearly caused a catastrophic release of deadly hydro-fluouric acid, officials said at the time.

The refinery recommenced operations May 10, 2016, over a year after the explosion. It sent gas prices soaring statewide, since there are only 5 oil refineries producing California's summer blend.

 

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