CORRECTION: State police say tank burning at Calcasieu Refining contains naphtha, not naphthalene
Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - A tank that caught fire when lightning struck it at Calcasieu Refining today contained naphtha, an extremely flammable hydrocarbon product, Louisiana State Police said.
When the fire started, the tank contained around 46,000 barrels, according to Greg Langley, spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. There are 42 gallons in a barrel.
Louisiana DEQ initially told KPLC the product was naphthalene.
Around 7:30 p.m., the fire continued with around 12 feet of the product remaining in the 150-foot-in-diameter tank, Langley said.
Dick Gremillion, director of Calcasieu Office of Homeland Preparedness and Homeland Security, said it is hoped the fire might be extinguished around midnight or 2 a.m.
An evacuation order is lifted for 1.5 miles around the plant at the end of W Tank Farm Road as of approximately 5:37 a.m. Sunday morning, June 4. A shelter-in-place that extended 3 miles from the plant is also lifted.
LDEQ - along with help from Phillips 66, who agreed to help - has been monitoring air quality, so far finding “non-detect” readings, Langley said.
Trooper First Class Derek Senegal, spokesman for Louisiana State Police Troop D, said the fire started a little before 2 p.m. as a line of storms moved through the area.
KPLC was sent a video of lightning striking the ground near Calcasieu Refining as the storms pushed through.
No injuries were reported, both Senegal and Langley said.
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