Authorities Investigating Cause Of Carson Refinery Explosion

CARSON (CBSLA.com) —  Authorities are investigating what caused a sulfur tank at the Wilmington portion of Tesoro’s Los Angeles Refinery to rupture, sending a plume of smoke into the sky Friday.

The explosion happened at 1 p.m in the 23200 block of South Alameda Street. The Alameda Corridor was briefly shut down between 223rd Street and Sepulveda Boulevard. Nobody was injured, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.

South Coast Air Quality Management District is monitoring the air around the site. No harmful levels of toxic chemicals have been seen, officials said.

Sometimes residents worry about living so close.

“I’m very concerned with my little ones because of the asthma not problems, the pollution and all the things,” said Sylvia Vigil, who lives near the plant.

Consumer advocates say with Labor Day just around the corner, they won’t be surprised if Tesoro uses this incident as a reason to raise gas prices.

“Refineries in the state will use almost any excuse to raise prices, and because there are so few players, they’re able to raise that price very, very easily,” Consumer watchdog Cody Rosenfield said.

Except for the one tank, the Tesoro refinery is operational.

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