SoCal Crane Accident Injures 3

Exxon crane collapse2
Photo courtesy: KABC News

Torrance, CA  – Three workers sustained minor injuries following a 300-ton crane collapse at ExxonMobil’s 149,500 barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery at 3700 W. 190th St. earlier today.

The crane was lifting equipment on a portion of the 100,000-bpd gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracking unit at the refinery, sources familiar with plant operations said.

The scene was declared “stable” by fire officials at about 11 a.m. The injured workers did not need hospital treatment.

The refinery was restarted a month ago, more than one year after it was damaged by an explosion, sending gas prices soaring nationwide.

The Torrance Fire Department reports that ExxonMobil is now flaring, to burn off hazardous chemicals generated by the incident. Such burn-offs, or flares, can be triggered by an unexpected stoppage in refinery operations or mechanical failures, among other things.

A delay to clear away the crane and restore operations could prevent the transfer of the plant’s ownership to PBF Energy Inc by July 1. PBF Energy agreed in September to buy the refinery from Exxon for $537.5 million.

Federal and state regulators have said ExxonMobil deliberately failed to fix equipment it knew could lead to a life-threatening explosion. Neither ExxonMobil or PBF would confirm or deny the latest sale delay.

Before PBF takes ownership, Exxon has to demonstrate the refinery has been fully operational for 15 days.