Fire destroyed 11 petrochemical storage tanks before extinguished -official

A fire at a Mitsui & Co petrochemical storage site outside Houston, TX destroyed 11 massive storage tanks before it was extinguished early Wednesday, Intercontinental Terminals Co officials said.

The company, a subsidiary of Mitsui & Co, has not yet determined what caused the blaze, but officials said at a briefing Wednesday that investigations by local officials have begun.

The fire began on Sunday when a leaking tank containing volatile naphtha, a fuel used in the production of gasoline, ignited and flames quickly spread to other tanks, ITC said. By Tuesday morning, the fire had ignited 12 of 15 tanks.

The tanks each hold up to 80,000 barrels, or 3.3 million gallons, of volatile liquid fuels, making the fire difficult to extinguish. There were no employees or firefighters injured since the blaze began, an ITC spokesman said on Tuesday.

State and federal monitors said air quality was safe, but environmental groups disagreed and said they would conduct their own monitoring.

Source: Reuters

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