Major Blast at CA Refinery

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plant fire protectionTorrance, CA -- A refinery explosion has destroyed parts of the Exxon Refinery Plant in California Wednesday morning.  The blast will likely drive up gas prices in California.

The blast occurred in a recently installed processing facility.  The four-story building was destroyed and four contractors were injured.

Cory Milsap-Harris, 21, was working in the switch house building next door when the blast happened.  "Everything was going smooth.  Next thing I hear sounded like heavy metal next door.  There was a loud bang.  You could feel the building shake a little."  Despite the layers of hearing protection he wore, the sound of the blast reverburated in his ears.  When Milsap-Harris went outside, he saw co-workers running from smoke and flames.

The blast was felt miles away.  Brittney Davis, who works a block away said, "The whole building shook.  We couldn't figure out what it was, but we stepped outside the door and the flames were shooting up from the refinery.  I could feel the heat from the flame."

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a smoke advisory for the area around the plant and thirteen nearby schools were kept indoors.  Exxon Mobil said no harmful emissions were emitted.