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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 March, 2005, 07:54 GMT
Fire crews fight refinery blaze
Texaco oil refinery
The fire broke out at a tank storing crude oil
A fire at a major oil refinery in west Wales has been brought under control by around 50 firefighters.

The fire broke out just before 2100 GMT at the Texaco oil refinery in Pembroke and was brought under control by 2200 GMT.

A Texaco spokesman said the cause of the fire was under investigation and a full survey would be carried out on Thursday.

The blaze, at a tank storing crude oil, began during a thunderstorm.

More than a dozen auxiliary firefighters who work at the site began tackling the blaze before fire officers from the Mid and West Wales Fire Service arrived at the scene.

'Straightforward incident'

Specialist equipment was brought in to help tackle the blaze.

Peter Brennan, of Mid and West Wales Fire Service, said on Thursday: "It would appear that during the storm last evening, one of the crude oil tanks was struck by lightning and ignited.

"It took approximately 40 minutes to get it under control.

"The first impression was flames coming over the top of the tank with very little smoke at that time.

"(It was) a straightforward incident that we practise for all the time with the refinery staff and it worked this time."

The final all clear was eventually given at 2330 GMT. There were no injuries.

Electrical storm

A Texaco spokesman said: "Texaco can confirm that a fire at Pembroke refinery has been brought under control and extinguished.

"The fire broke out at 2055 GMT tonight at one of the refinery's crude oil storage tanks during an electrical storm.

"Appliances from the Pembrokeshire fire brigade and the refinery's own auxiliary plant fire team attended the scene.

"There are no reported injuries and the cause of the fire is currently being investigated."

In July 1994, a thunderstorm disrupted equipment at the Texaco plant leading to a massive explosion.

The large Texaco refinery in Pembroke produces a fifth of all petrol used in Britain.

Job losses at Texaco plant
18 Jul 03 |  Wales

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