Two critically injured patients who suffered burns Wednesday afternoon in a fire at the Delaware City refinery in Delaware were transported by helicopter to Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware, nearly 30 miles away.
Paramedics with New Castle County treated the injured until the helicopters arrived, the group’s Facebook site states.
A county official described flames rising from a smokestack at the Delaware City Refinery as a “process fire,” local media reports.
Video obtained through the Delaware Department of Transportation show flames and smoke rising from a refinery smokestack with a large stream of water landing near the base of the stack.
New Castle County Local Emergency Planning Committee Chairman David Irwin told Delaware Online that the refinery’s in-house fire department did not call for outside help with the fire, which he described as a “process fire.”
Irwin said the fire was reported about 1:30 p.m.
A February 2019 fire at the 190,000 barrels-per-day oil refinery was cited as one cause in a series of air quality violations that Delaware regulators agreed to settle with refinery owners in January.
An unprotected 3-inch pipe froze and burst, triggering a hydrocarbon release that ignited two separate fires within a 15-minute span. The result was a fire that firefighters struggled with nearly 12 hours before being able to extinguish it.