Fuel Leak Triggers Small Texas Refinery Explosion

December 2, 2011

A San Antonio refinery caught fire for the second time in two years Wednesday after authorities said an apparent jet diesel fuel leak triggered a small explosion.

San Antonio Fire Department spokeswoman Melissa Sparks said no injuries were reported. She said firefighters contained the blaze within an hour of the explosion and that it wasn’t immediately necessary to evacuate surrounding homes.

“Once they are able to get the tank cooled down and get all the lines shut off it should be good to go,” Sparks said.

NuStar Energy spokeswoman Mary Rose Brown confirmed no employees were injured, but the company did not immediately provide more information.

The same refinery caught fire in May 2010 under ownership of a different company. One man in that fire was critically burned after an 18-wheeler being loaded with fuel exploded, setting off a chain reaction of smaller explosions.

Other employees received minor injuries in that blaze and residents within a half-mile of the facility were evacuated. The plant at the time was run by AGE Refining Inc., a small refinery that had filed for bankruptcy a few months earlier.

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