Evacuation orders for over 2,900 as huge fire breaks out at Japanese petroleum plant (VIDEO)

Authorities have urged the evacuation of over 2,900 people after a petrochemical plant in the city of Arida, Japan erupted in a major fire.

Footage broadcast by the Japanese media shows firefighters trying to dose the flames as well as thick plum of black smoke rising against the skyline.

According to NHK, 1,281 households were urged to evacuate, affecting at least 2,986 people. Around 500 of them fled and were taken to shelter at a local welfare center and a junior high school.

No reports of casualties were available following the disaster, but the affected area is said to be over 100 square meters (1,076 square feet).

The refinery is owned by the TonenGeneral Group, and has the capacity to process 132,000 barrels of crude per day. It produces gasoline, kerosene and benzene.

A refinery employee told The Japan Times she was worried that winds might spread the fire further.

More than six hours into the firefighting effort, the reason behind the blaze remains unclear. A unit producing lubricant oil is believed to have caught fire; no blast was reported.

Oil refining is one of the major industries in the coastal city located in the Wakayama Prefecture on Honshu island.



Commercial Fire at Petroleum Equipment Facility in Mobile


MOBILE, AL (WKRG) — Fire ripped through a petroleum equipment facility in Mobile Thursday evening.

The fire was reported around 5:00pm on at Hoffman Petroleum Equipment on Halls Mill Road. a man working nearby saw smoke then called 911.

“me and my coworker were just sitting out here talking and I saw smoke coming out of the building and out of the side of the window,” said Anthony Young. “Then explosions ‘boom, boom, boom’ and me and him started stepping back.”

According to officials with Mobile Fire-Rescue Department the building also stores flammable gas,  but the fire appears to have started in the rear of the building in a garage.

The fire looks like it began where the RV is parked. When the investigators are able to get inside they will hopefully be able to determine what may have caused it,” said Steve Huffman of Mobile Fire-Rescue.

Crews were able to get the fire contained in about an hour, but their concern now is run off because of the hazardous materials.

“There is a drainage system here and it all goes into Halls Mill creek so we are concerned about the product and the water washing everything into the creek. A hazmat crew is on the way and we have also notified Alabama Environmental Management,” said Huffman.

No one was injured in the fire.