Ash rains down from the sky; Children in 14 nearby school shelter in place.
Editorial note: Jay Gunkleman has advised us that the catalytic cracker unit (which was new) was the source of the explosion. The catalyst is likely a metal like Vanadium, and the chemistry is likely alkaline, similar to the CataCarb release from Rodeo’s refinery in the 1990s at then Unocal (now P66), where the catalyst was full of Boron, vanadium and “secret ingredients” they never did disclose. The LA neighborhood (Torrance/Compton) has ash deposited following the explosion/fire… as well as the refinery itself…. likely not healthy for dermal or respiratory exposure, much like Crockett had following the release locally. It will be interesting to track the details of this refinery explosion and the local impacts. At the very least, ash samples should be tested for metals and acidity/alkalinity
Here are two links to the story:
By Veronica Rocha and Rueben Vives (L.A. Times, February 18, 2015)
By Tami Abdollah (Associated Press, February 18, 2015):