Huge blaze at Essex oil refinery

FIREFIGHTERS are battling flames 100ft high after a blaze began at an Essex oil refinery today.

FIREFIGHTERS battled flames 100ft high after a blaze began at an Essex oil refinery today.

Seventeen fire engines were called to the Manor Way site in Coryton after reports of an explosion were received.

Fire officers rushed to the Petroplus refinery near Corringham at about 11.30am and fought the blaze, in the ground floor of the Naptha Tower. It was out by 3.15pm.

An Essex Fire and Rescue spokesman said cooling monitors were used and an emergency planning officer was alerted.

“Reports of an explosion are unconfirmed. We have reports of flames 100ft high and a major foam attack is in progress.”

Police, two ambulance crews, one rapid response car and three paramedics were called.

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A spokesman said there were no casualties and all people at the site were accounted for.

Assistant chief fire officer Mark Hardingham said: “The refinery is a complex place and a number of areas need to be shut down and managed in sequence so the situation can be restored to normal. All this takes time.”

A plume of smoke drifting towards Canvey Island is not toxic, police said.

Manor Way was closed off while firefighters tackled the blaze. Tankers arriving at the site were parked on Manor Way.

No buildings nearby were evacuated. Petroplus has instigated its own emergency plan.

The site is close to the M25 and responsible for loading about 700 tankers a day to meet 22 per cent of the UK's forecourt demand.

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