Explosion at Big Spring's Alon Refinery

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING - A massive explosion rocked the Alon refinery in Big Spring Monday morning. Residents reported feeling a large blast just after 8:00 a.m. Monday morning.

Plant officials reported a total of four injuries. One person has been taken to a Lubbock hospital with burns on his legs. All other employees were evacuated from the plant.  Also, a woman passing by the plant in her vehicle was struck by flying debris, however she was treated and released.  

Alon officials tell NewsWest 9 that the fire is under control, and is no longer a threat to the city of Big Spring.

All schools in the Big Spring I.S.D. have been closed. Classes have been cancelled for Monday. Howard College also cancelled classes for the day.

The refinery employs about 170 people and produces some 70,000 barrels a day. The number of injuries may have been reduced, because Monday is President's Day, and some workers were not on the job at the time of the explosion.

NewsWest 9 has learned that the fire started in the "Light-Ends Processing" Area where the refinery manufactures propane and propylene.  Other parts of the plant that produce gasoline were shut down due to the fire.

NewsWest 9 has had reports from as far away as Andrews and near San Angelo from people who say they felt the blast. There have been reports that some homes and businesses near the plant may have sustained damage because of the blast.

Interstate 20 reopened just before 6:00p.m. Monday after being closed all day.

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