November 27, 2014
RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) - Investigators say Chevron firefighters responding to a small California refinery leak last summer may have accidentally punctured a main pipeline before a massive blaze.
A section of the Richmond refinery erupted in flames on Aug. 6 and sent a cloud of gas and black smoke over residential areas. Thousands of people sought medical treatment.
The San Francisco Chronicle says a metallurgical report showed the 40-year-old pipe was already weakened by the heavy sulfur content of the crude oil being pumped through it.
The investigation has also found that the pipe appears to have been punctured from the outside.
Investigators are examining firefighter tools to determine if they accidentally damaged the line while tearing away insulation.
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.