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Plant Explosion Forces Closure of Highway

June 8, 1988

PORT ARTHUR, Texas (AP) _ An explosion and fire at a Chevron refinery today injured up to six employees and shot flames 150 to 200 feet in the air, witnesses and officials said.

A pump station caught fire about 9:40 a.m. and spread to some small storage tanks nearby, Chevron spokesman Art Spencer said. The pump station moves unfinished gasoline from the manufacturing section to storage area, he said.

″There is concern for the fire spreading, but we do not feel it will spread to the manufacturing section because it is divided″ by a bayou and a highway, Spencer said.

The cause of the blast was not immediately known.

He said four workers were taken to Park Place Hospital. The injuries, he said, were not serious. However, a hospital spokeswoman said six employees were being treated for undetermined injuries.

″The fire is emitting an awful lot of black smoke into the air but it does not have any environmental impact,″ Spencer said.

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