Huge explosion and fire near San Francisco trigger ‘HAZMAT emergency’

Huge explosion and fire near San Francisco trigger ‘HAZMAT emergency’

Local authorities issued a hazardous materials emergency declaration urging the locals to shelter in place after massive explosion at NuStar fuel refinery in Rodeo, California, just 25 miles northeast of San Francisco.

Fire crews and police are on site responding to the blaze after huge blast left two tanks on fire at the refinery. At least one storage tank appears to be completely destroyed and another is in flames in footage seen on local media. Contra Costa County health officials warned locals to “shelter in place” and close their windows.

The Rodeo refinery has 24 tanks full of extremely flammable fuels including gasoline and ethanol as well as pipeline connections to other refineries, according to KTVU.

FAt least two CalFire aircraft also responded to the blaze. There were no immediate reports of injuries at the site.

Smoke from the massive fire could be seen from as far away as San Francisco. The cause of the inferno is not yet known.

Several westbound lanes of Interstate 80 between Crockett and Rodeo were closed as a precaution, the county fire department tweeted.

Two other refineries in the vicinity were reported flaring following Monday night’s 4.5 magnitude earthquake near Pleasant Hill, but neither reached the level of an emergency, local media reported.