Fire fighters in the American state of Pennsylvania believe they have finally gained the upper hand in their 24-hour fight against a huge blaze which broke out Friday (June 19) in an oil refinery in Franklin.
Fire fighters in the American state of Pennsylvania believe they have finally gained the upper hand in their 24-hour fight against a huge blaze which broke out Friday (June 19) in an oil refinery in Franklin. But the cost has been high... three men died and fourteen others were injured during the battle. Damage is estimated in many millions of dollars.
Firemen were called in from fifteen surrounding communities to fight the blaze. It started when a spark from a welding torch flew up an overflow pipe into a huge storage tank. Two men standing on top of the tank died instantly as the oil caught fire. The blaze quickly spread to other tanks and soon the whole area was engulfed.
Smoke rose more than 5,000 feet into the air and could be seen for fifty miles around. Residents near the scene were evacuated as police, ambulance workers and firemen fought to contain the blaze. One firemen was killed when flames swept towards him driven by a strong wind.
Fourteen others were injured... three of them critically.
With little hope of putting out the blaze firemen concentrated on containing it and allowing it to burn out.
At one stage burning oil threatened to flow into a nearby river and be swept downstream towards a number of factories lining the bank. But luckily the oil flow was put out.