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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 July 2007, 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
Fire at UK's largest oil refinery
A major part of the UK's largest oil refinery has been shut down following a fire in its steam generating plant.

Esso, which runs the Fawley Refinery near Southampton Water, said the blaze broke out inside one of the units, which was evacuated at 0730 BST.

Nobody was injured and the fire was brought under control by the plant's firefighters just over an hour later.

Excess gas caused flares to shoot from the chimneys. An investigation into the cause of the fire is under way.

Supply unaffected

The Environment Agency and Health & Safety Executive have been informed.

A Fawley Refinery spokesman said: "We use steam in a lot of our processes - to heat things up, to cool things down, to drive turbines. It's a utility we use in a lot of our plants."

He said this had led to the majority of both the Esso refinery and the ExxonMobil chemical manufacturing sites being temporarily shut down.

The spokesman said there was no immediate impact on supplies available to their customers.


SEE ALSO
Refinery emergency under control
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