The explosion and fire came from the Butane – one of the products that came from the crude oil refining process – at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery starting around 4 am, said Deputy Fire Brigade Commissioner Craig Murphy. The fire crews of the refinery fight the flames – with the support of the city's fire crews – and the fire is contained in the common area of the tub, Murphy said.
"The fire is not under control, companies are confident that the fire is not spreading," Murphy told reporters after dawn.
One worker complains of chest pain after the fire has started, but he was not supposed to be taken to hospital, Murphy said, and no other injuries were reported.
The details of what the fire started was not immediately available. Authorities work at the expense of all staff, said Philadelphia Energy Solutions spokeswoman Cherice Corley – although Murphy said no one has disappeared at the establishment.
Employees "work somewhere near the tub" when the fire started, "but far enough that the initial explosion did not hurt anyone," Murphy said. He said he did not know what work was being done.
Little fires were burning in the room, Murphy. said. The degree of damage to the refinery was not clear early on Friday, but appears to be limited to the bath area.