A fuel leak likely set the stage for a massive fire at Mitsui’s Houston-area petrochemical storage facility in March, according to an article from Reuters. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board reportedly indicated that open valves and a running pump may have initiated the leak.
According to Reuters, the fire began on March 17 at Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) and was not extinguished until March 20. In that time, it reportedly dispersed smoke across the city, closed the Houston Ship Channel, slowed oil production at nearby refineries, closed roads and schools and spread from one storage tank to ten others. CSB inspectors believe the fire started in piping next to an 80,000-barrel tank containing naphtha, a flammable chemical used in motor fuel production, according to Reuters.
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