Power outage causes flaring, heavy smoke from local refinery

Multiple fire crews were dispatched Monday to the Valero refinery in the area of I-37 and Up River Road for what was originally believed to be a big fire, but turned out to be a unique looking case of flaring.

CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - Multiple fire crews were dispatched Monday to the Valero refinery in the area of I-37 and Up River Road for what was originally believed to be a big fire, but turned out to be a unique looking case of flaring.

Valera officials tell 3News that a power outage sometime before noon Monday triggered a safety valve to release, causing multiple instance of flaring at the plant. Flaring is a process that relieves built up pressure at a refinery and is done as a safety precaution.

According to Valero officials, that particular plant has what is called "ground flaring," which is different from the usual flaring Coastal Bend residents are used to seeing coming from tall smokestacks at refineries. It's a way to remove and toxic gas from the plant.

"The flare is a good thing," said Robert Lopez, a retired refinery worker. "You burn anything bad going out."

Officials said employees were evacuated from the area and there were no known injuries involved.

© 2017 KIII-TV


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