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Smoke from refinery fire seen for miles

fire
An explosion at the Tosco refinery triggered the fire  

CARSON, California (CNN) -- A petroleum refinery caught fire Monday, blackening the sky with billowing clouds of thick smoke that could be seen for miles.

The fire began after an explosion at Tosco refinery shortly before 5 p.m. (8 p.m. EDT). The refinery is about 21 miles south of Los Angeles.

Firefighters from the Los Angeles County Fire Department and Tosco's own fire brigade -- which has experience fighting petroleum fires -- were battling the blaze.

There were no reports of injuries.

It was not known how much petroleum had burned but any loss was potentially serious, an analyst said.

"Any significant supply loss in California is serious because of the geographical location and our unique gasoline formulation, which is hard to come by outside the state," said Trilby Lundberg, publisher of the Lundberg Survey, which tallies gas prices around the country. She was referring to the state's more stringent gasoline reformulation requirements.



RELATED STORIES:
Blast at UK oil refinery
April 16, 2001

RELATED SITES:
Tosco Corporation
Los Angeles County Fire Department
Lundberg Survey

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