Video shows vapor cloud before refinery fire

Video shows vapor cloud before refinery fire

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

A man walks past gas prices posted on a board at a gas station in Monterey Park, on August 13, 2012 in Los Angeles County, California, where the average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline rose again today, for the 31st time in 32 days. Analysts have attributed the recent price increases to a major fire at a Chevron refinery last week in Richmond that has caused wholesale gas prices to rise out of fears of decreased supply. AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/GettyImages)

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Associated Press

Posted on August 15, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 15 at 6:01 AM

RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) — Officials say they have internal surveillance video that shows a volatile vapor cloud before a fire broke out at a Chevron Corp. refinery last week.

U.S. Chemical Safety Board officials said Tuesday that the video shows a number of plant workers within the cloud shortly before the Aug. 6 blast.

The vapor cloud was estimated to be about 150 to 200 feet high, as tall as the refinery tower.

The blaze knocked an important refinery unit offline, reducing the facility's production and sending thousands to hospitals with breathing complaints.

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