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Massive explosion & fire at California NuStar refinery triggers ‘hazardous materials emergency’ (VIDEOS)

Massive explosion & fire at California NuStar refinery triggers ‘hazardous materials emergency’ (VIDEOS)
An enormous explosion that left two tanks on fire at a NuStar fuel refinery in Rodeo, California has led local authorities to issue a hazardous materials emergency declaration urging the locals to shelter in place.

At least one storage tank appears to be completely destroyed and another is in flames in footage seen on local media. Contra Costa County health officials warned locals to “shelter in place” and close their windows. 

The Rodeo refinery has 24 tanks full of extremely flammable fuels including gasoline and ethanol as well as pipeline connections to other refineries, according to KTVU.

Fire crews and police are on site responding to the blaze. At least two CalFire aircraft also responded to the blaze. There were no immediate reports of injuries at the site.

Smoke from the massive fire could be seen from as far away as San Francisco. The cause of the inferno is not yet known.

Several westbound lanes of Interstate 80 between Crockett and Rodeo were closed as a precaution, the county fire department tweeted.

Two other refineries in the vicinity were reported flaring following Monday night’s 4.5 magnitude earthquake near Pleasant Hill, but neither reached the level of an emergency, local media reported.

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