After a mylar balloon hit equipment at a nearby substation and caused an outage, Torrance, CA, firefighters responded to “heavy flaring” at a nearby ExxonMobil refinery.
Crews arrived at the refinery about 9:20 a.m. after a mylar balloon hit equipment at a nearby California Edison substation and caused a “momentary but widespread” outage, Torrance Fire Capt. Steve Deuel said.
There were no injuries, but some contractors working at the facility relocated to a nearby park as a precaution, Deuel said.
Torrance police said there were no leaks and officials tested the air and they deemed it “clean and safe.”
There were some odor complaints, Deuel said, “but the (odor) dissipated with the wind.”
In a statement, refinery officials confirmed a power outage caused the “unplanned flaring” and apologized “for any inconvenience that this incident may have caused.”
“The refinery is working to normalize operations,” the statement said. Deuel said the process could take between 12 and 24 hours.
Nearby Del Amo Boulevard remained closed in the area until burnoff operations end, police said.
According to its website, the 750-acre facility produces 1.8 billion gallons of gasoline per year, using crude oil primarily from the San Joaquin Valley. Built in 1929, it now produces nearly 10 percent of the gasoline refined in California.