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Leak of potentially dangerous gas sparks state safety probe at Torrance ExxonMobil refinery

Source: Daily Breeze | September 10th, 2015 | By Nick Green
Industry type: Oil Refineries

State safety regulators are investigating a leak of potentially deadly modified hydrofluoric acid this week at the Torrance ExxonMobil refinery, the latest dangerous accident at the aging plant to raise questions over its ability to operate safely in a densely populated area.

Sunday’s “significant incident,” as the Torrance Fire Department called it, comes in the wake of the February explosion that Cal/OSHA said was caused by ExxonMobil’s “willful” failure to repair a piece of equipment for almost a decade even though the company was aware it could cause a life-threatening explosion.

The state issued 19 safety violations and fines in excess of $565,000 in the wake of the blast. ExxonMobil is appealing.

Cal/OSHA confirmed Thursday that its investigators were once again probing another accident at the plant. The agency declined further comment.

The leak occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning from a 3-inch nozzle as a truck containing hydrofluoric acid unloaded its contents into a vessel at the plant, according to a Fire Department report…

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