Naphthalene, a petroleum product, was in a tank that caught fire when lightning struck it today at Calcasieu Refining, according to officials.
Approximately 46,000 barrels of naphthalene were in the tank when the fire began, according to Greg Langley, a spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. A barrel holds 42 gallons of liquid.
According to Langley, the fire persisted around 7:30 p.m. with around 12 feet of the product still within the 150-foot-diameter tank.
The Calcasieu Office of Homeland Preparedness and Homeland Security director, Dick Gremillion, stated that it is hoped the fire will be put out by 2 or 3 a.m.
The factory at the end of Tank Farm Road has a 1.5-mile evacuation order in effect. Three miles separate the facility from the shelter-in-place.
The tweet below verifies the news:
By the looks of it, a tank at the refinery’s tank farm may be what’s burning here. Calcasieu Refining has the capacity to run 135,000bpd. It’s very early but based on that, there may not be an impact to #gasprices https://t.co/uUUrQtE5DI
— Patrick De Haan ⛽️📊 (@GasBuddyGuy) June 4, 2023
The air quality has been monitored by LDEQ with assistance from Phillips 66, who volunteered to cooperate, and thus far, “non-detect” readings have been found, according to Langley.
the First Class Trooper A series of storms were passing through the region when the fire erupted, according to Derek Senegal, spokesman for Louisiana State Police Troop D.
As the storms moved through, KPLC received footage of lightning striking the ground close to Calcasieu Refining.
According to Senegal and Langley, there were no injuries recorded.
The naphthalene tank is surrounded by two other tanks, one holding 28,000 barrels of diesel fuel and the other 215,000 barrels of crude oil, according to Langley. Water is being used to cool both to prevent the fire from spreading.
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Contractors to put out the fire and keep an eye on the air quality are also on the way, according to Langley.
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