TORRANCE (  —  Sirens went off  outside an ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance Friday evening.

Residents were first told to shelter in place.

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The sirens were first reported just after 6:30 p.m. Friday.

The Torrance Police department investigated the cause of the sirens as nervous neighbors wondered what was happening.

The plant is the same location of an explosion in Febrary that injured four workers.

On Friday, police issued a statement: “Torrance Police and Fire are on scene at ExxonMobil re an incident. Those in proximity to the refinery, and particularly east of, are asked to shelter in place as a precaution. We will advise as we know further [information].”

A statement by the city of Torrance said the situation was well in hand.

“At approx. 6:10pm, ExxonMobil experienced a leak on an 8 inch pipeline in the crude unit. The resulting leak resulted in a large column of smoke leaving the refinery and extending past Western Avenue. The ExxonMobil sirens were activated telling the public to shelter in place. At this time, the leak has been stabilized and the leak has been contained. As we have more information we will send additional notification. At this point, no active shelter in place has been issued.”

Friday night ,KCAL9’s Rachel Kim spoke to some nervous residents who were glad the leak was minor and mostly leaking steam.

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Kevin Conner, who lives near the plant, told Kim he had serious concerns.

“I have no trust in the leadership or the management of that plant,” he said, “cause one, you’ve had an explosion.”

The plant was fined $566.600 in penalties this past August for the February incident that inured four workers.

CAL/OSHA issued 19 citations for what were called serious workplace and safety and health violations.

Some residents said the sirens didn’t concern them much.

“I wasn’t really that concerned. I’ve lived here for so long,” said Dennis Baker, “and that kind of stuff happens.”

The refinery is set to have new owners in a $537.5 million deal recently announced.


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