A fire in a cooling tower motor Tuesday created a disturbing amount of smoke above an oil refinery in southwestern Spain.
First noticed shortly before noon, the fire at the La Rábida refinery created a thick column of black smoke visible for miles and an overwhelming number of calls to emergency services. The refinery, owned by Cepsa, is in Huelva, capital of Huelva province.
Fire alarms alerted workers to evacuate the area, press reports state. The refinery’s in-house fire brigade brought the blaze under control within half an hour and extinguish it within two hours.
The large amount of smoke was blamed on plastics that burned before firefighter could reach the fire, company officials said.
Cespa contacted local emergency services about the situation. However, a review of air quality information showed no need to activate the refinery’s external emergency plan.