Fire extinguished at south China oil refinery, no casualties   2011-07-11 09:34:17 FeedbackPrintRSS

Photo taken on July 11, 2011 shows heavy smoke over a refinery owned by China National Offshore Oil Corp., located in the Dayawan Economic and Technical Development Zone in Huizhou City, south Chian's Guangdong Province. A fire broke out early Monday after oil leaked from an equipment at the refinery, with no casualties reported. (Xinhua)

GUANGZHOU, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Fire broke out early Monday at an oil refinery in Guangdong Province, but there were no casualties, authorities said.

The fire was reported at 4:10 a.m. at an oil refinery in Huizhou City, and it was put out three hours later, said a spokesman with the administrative committee of the Dayawan Economic and Technical Development Zone, where the refinery is located.

Flames soared over 100 meters high after oil leaked from equipment at the Huizhou Refinery Company of China National Offshore Oil Corp., the spokesman and witnesses said.

More than 40 fire engines were used to fight the fire.

A company spokesman said the fire did not lead to any toxic emissions, as only carbon dioxide was detected in the smoke.

The oil leak was capped in time and no casualties were caused, said Dong Xiaoli, general manager of the refinery. "All our environment monitoring and protection devices are operating normally."

Dong said he expected the refinery to resume production within a week.

The flames were extinguished by 7:10 a.m. but thick smoke was still seen at the site up until 11 a.m.

An official with the city's environment protection bureau said the fire put a lot of soot into the air. "At some monitoring stations, we observed a 60 percent rise also in the density of carbon monoxide."

The pollution, however, would not seriously affect the residents, the official said. "All the waste water has been discharged into a backup pond for treatment. So the seawater or groundwater would not have been harmed."

The city's safety chief Zeng Yuanxiang said the cause of the accident is still being probed.

The refinery is about 40 km from the Dayawan Nuclear Power Station.

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Editor: Zhang Xiang
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