Massive explosion could create a toxic cloud across European continent
There has been a massive explosion at an Italian oil refinery, amid fears that thousands of tonnes of fuel could ignite. The blaze, at plant in the Italian town of Sannazzaro dei Burgondi, north of Milan is engulfed in flames following the blast earlier today. A huge cloud of black smoke that can been seen miles away has covered the area.
Italian emergency services have ordered local residents to stay inside their home.
The Italian Department of Civil Protection in the province of Alessandria said in a statement "The fire occurred inside refinery Italian ENI energy company occurred around 15:40 (local time), causing a large fireball of tens of meters."
Eni, Italy's biggest refiner, said in a statement the fire had started at around 4.00 pm in the so-called EST plant at the refinery. The cause was still unknown.
"The fire is currently being extinguished," Eni said.
Traders said the 200,000 barrels-per-day refinery had started a 30-day maintenance on November 6.
Eni built the EST plant, ENI Slurry technology, to convert heavy oil residues into petrol and diesel products.
A spokesperson for the Italian fire brigade said earlier on Thursday the fire was large and had sent up clouds of smoke.
Labels: Man-made Disasters