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Tanker truck explodes at Valdez refinery

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
A Crowley tanker truck caught fire during fuel transfer, this photo was taken after the fire was extinguished at the Petro Star Valdez truck loading dock.

There was an explosion and fire at the Petro Star Refinery in Valdez Monday. According to a release from Petro Star’s parent company Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, the fire was at the facility's truck loading rack.

It says the City of Valdez and Alyeska Pipeline service Company fire departments extinguished the fire, no one was hurt, the refinery was not damaged, and the cause of the fire is being investigated.

A state Department of Environmental Conservation report issued yesterday (Weds) confirm those statements. It adds that a Crowley Fuels tanker truck which was loading at the time, spilled about 5 thousand gallons of ultra-low sulfur diesel, and that unknown volume of fire suppressant foam and water used to put out the flames was also released onto a gravel surface.

It says the fire consumed an undetermined amount of the spilled fuel, and that vac trucks were used to suck up remaining fuel, as well as foam and water. The DEC says no impacts to wildlife, or sheen on the water, were observed.

The truck loading rack will be out of service until inspections and repairs have been completed.

The refinery draws crude oil from Trans Alaska Pipeline which runs by the refinery on its way to the Valdez marine terminal, where oil is loaded onto tankers.