Yet ANOTHER EXPLOSION & FIRE at a Chevron Refinery Richmond,CA. : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I've taken notice of yet ANOTHER refinery explosion and fire here in the north bay area. One at Tasco recently in this one not far away in Richmond...a 100 foot fireball is now burning at one of the cracking units....Radio station KCBS in SAN FRANCISCO is reporting this...right now.

Norm: is this "just another coincidence"? yeah right...

now go put your head in some sand ain't full yet

-- gotitlongago@garynorth. (vacajohn@(nospam), March 25, 1999


Lighten up, vacajohn,

I used to live pretty near that plant - it's ALWAYS having problems. There are several incidents EVERY YEAR! So I'm not worried about this being Y2K.

However, that plant should be shut down for long-running safety problems.

Jolly is glad he doesn't live there anymore.

-- Jollyprez (, March 25, 1999.

Jolly, not this many all with a few months of one another.

What IS going on?


Posted at 3:47 p.m. PST Thursday, March 25, 1999

Explosion rocks Chevron refinery in Richmond

http:/ /

Associated Press

RICHMOND, Calif. -- An explosion at a Chevron refinery on the edge of San Francisco Bay sent a huge pillar of black smoke into the air, prompting authorities to warn people in the area to remain inside with their windows closed.

Witnesses said the explosion felt like an earthquake.

``You should see the smoke. It's really dark,'' a woman who lives just north of the plant told KRON-TV. Chevron spokeswoman Marielle Bortz said all the workers at the plant were accounted for and there were no injuries.

Firefighters were going house to house, warning people to stay inside, and the city's sirens were sounding, said Adrian Stanton in the Richmond Fire Department.

``That means everyone should stay inside, close all the windows and doors and cut off the air conditioners. It's going straight up in the air, and it's not considered so toxic that people will drop where they stand, but it's definitely a health hazard,'' she said.

All ten of Richmond's fire engines were at the scene, and Chevron's own fire department also was fighting the blaze, which appeared to be growing in size.

The explosion happened at about 2:40 p.m., among the dozens of red stacks on Point Richmond, a well-known sight just south of the bridge from Marin County to Contra Costa County at the northwest end of the bay.

Chevron said it happened in a hydro-cracking unit, which removes impurities from oil.

Last month, four workers were killed in an explosion and fire at the Tosco Avon refinery near Martinez.

-- Diane J. Squire (, March 25, 1999.

Those Richmond/Martinez refineries have been blowing up and burning on a regular basis since I first moved to the SF Bay Area in 1978. Now if it were two a WEEK I would wonder, but the Tasco and Chevron accidents are well within my normal incident parameter radar.

-- Mitchell Barnes (, March 25, 1999.


There have been "others" around the country as well, especially if you include the Chemical plants.

Isn't this supposed to be the time of Y2K testing? (I recognize, that statement may be a "stretch," but it all seems "odd" to me. Sort of outside the "normal" range).


-- Diane J. Squire (, March 25, 1999.

As Sigmund Freud once [supposedly] said,

"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

Seriously Diane, I lived in the "East Bay" (as it's locally called) for 6 years, and worked within 3 miles of that plant. This is quite "normal" for Tosco.


-- Jollyprez (, March 25, 1999.

Uh, Chevron, this time Jolly.

If nothing else, it causes one to pause and think "what if" uncaptured embedded chips cause these kinds of "problems" country-wide at the turn.

Just a thought.


(Cute. I don't smoke, but Chevron is today! ;-)

-- Diane J. Squire (, March 25, 1999.

so is this what the petroleum industry means by fix on failure?

no wonder they have such a tough time finding rebuilt parts for their equipment...

-- Arlin H. Adams (, March 25, 1999.

Weren't there 2 train crashes near Chicago within a couple of days of one another. Strange maybe nasty Y2k infected embedded chips are at the center of some linked conspiracy.

Get a life folks.

-- ~~~~ (~~~~@~.~), March 26, 1999.

Up on Breaking News:

[ For Educational Purposes Only ]

Explosion at Chevron Oil Refinery Sends Hundreds To Hospitals

3/26/99 -- 6:19 AM

RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) - Hundreds of people complaining of breathing problems flooded into hospitals after an explosion at a Chevron oil refinery spewed black smoke over the area.

The blast Thursday at the 97-year-old refinery on the edge of San Francisco Bay prompted Richmond officials to sound the city's sirens, warning residents to stay indoors.

An estimated 600 people went to three area hospitals. Some said they were nauseous and had a metallic taste in their mouths or burning sensation in their throats. Three firefighters were injured.

``This is something that obviously is of concern to Chevron. We're taking this very seriously,'' said company spokeswoman Dawn Soper. ``We'll work hard to ensure anything like this is prevented in the future.''

Adrian Stanton of the Richmond Fire Department said the smoke was considered a health hazard.

Chevron spokesman Terry Swartz said there were toxins in the smoke, but he downplayed the risk.

``If the question is, is there a health hazard to our employees or the community, I don't believe there is,'' he said.

Some residents complained the explosion was just the latest health risk from Chevron and other nearby refineries.

The blast occurred just a month after a fireball engulfed five workers at the Tosco Avon refinery in Martinez on Feb. 23, killing four and leaving one critically injured.

``Basically they need to shut it down or something because the majority of these babies are being born with asthma,'' said Angela Brawley, who lives near the Chevron refinery.

The thick, black smoke was visible across the bay in San Francisco and Marin County. Firefighters had contained the blaze about 5 1/2 hours after it began, though they expected to continue fighting hot spots, said Soper.

The unit where the explosion occurred - a processing and manufacturing site for gasoline and jet fuel - was shut down indefinitely for investigation.
Doesn't sound so harmless, definitely sounds like a health hazard.

xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxx

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, March 26, 1999.

Yes Diane it COULD be y2k testing at the refineries and chemical plants, but it also COULD be business as usual.

There has been a continual news flow re refinery and chemical plant explosions and leaks since I first started watching TV as a kid. Because of that real fact I'm going to continue to assume that most, if not all, refinery and chemical plant snafus are just more of the same in a very long string of events.

I am curious as to why people think that y2k testing should RESULT in explosions.

Given the nature of the materials in the petrochemical & chemical industry I'm going to give the remediators and testers the benefit of doubt that most of them are fairly sharp cookies and the very thing they will attempt within all their power will be to set up y2k testing conditions that are non-explosive and non-life threatening AND non- damaging to the facilities being tested.

Everyone should realize that most remediators are doing a conscientious job, most managers are doing the best they can. Very few of either have an attitude of "screw the public, just because the public doesn't really know what we are doing so we can pull the wool over their eyes." Just because we the public CAN'T know "what is going on in remediation progress" does not axiomatically lead to "everyone in y2k remediation, top to bottom, is involved in a conspiracy to keep us in the dark."

And that is the mind set I see emerging on this Forum.

I guess it comes down to trust. And if we, as a nation, as groups, and as individuals, lose trust - we are in sorry shape. If we cannot tell the difference between that which is trustworthy and that which is not - we are disabled. If we automatically assume the other person is non-trustworthy we are numb.

Keeping an open mind to the possibility is one thing, a bias toward seeing people, events, and things as not being how they are portrayed is, to me, a sad statement about one's own valuation of one's self- trust - and quite another.

Still a "10" because I trust my own y2k assessment.

-- Mitchell Barnes (, March 26, 1999.


And let's pretend for a minute that it was TOTALLY related to a y2k test gone bad. What would that mean? What would you do differently if it was? Would it change things for you? Make you do something you're not already doing? Do you think y2k's going to cause chemical plants exploding to explode? If so, why would this particular event be important in terms of your perspective on, reaction to, and plans for nine short months from now?

Just curious,

-- Fernard (, March 26, 1999.

Is there any way to find some stats on explosions over the past few years to compare?

I have noticed since the beginning of the year that whenever anyone on this forum or elsewhere dares to question whether any explosion is Y2K related there is an immediate overwhelming response of, "NO! NO! NO! not related at all -- we've always had explosions -- nothing new here -- don't you know about the red truck syndrome, etc."

Am I to understand that it is a clear impossibility for any explosions to occur due to Y2K?

-- Wondering (, March 26, 1999.

Why, Wondering? Let's say they hold a press conference and say, "Yes. That's right. We we're doing a y2k test, about 7 or 8 embedded systems didn't like it, and the place just blew. And we regret to inform you that our company is considered one of the most progressive, conscientious, furthest along with y2k remediation, of any of the chemical companies in the world. Today's explosion should serve as a clear wake-up call to all people. And just in case that's not clear enough, let us say this: Our experience with the problem and intimate knowledge of the chemical industry leads us to conclude most chemical plants will explode on or near January 1, 2000. Neither we nor they are going to make it. Thank-you. Sorry and good luck. That is all."

Then what? Is that when 200 more million people in America wake up, get it, move to the outskirts of Missouri? Is that when everyone starts buying up fire extinguishers and gas masks and a year's supply of everything they think they need?

Or is that when the nuclear power industry decides to follow the chemical industry's lead and say essentially the same thing? And then the railroads, the shipping industry, the hospitals, the oil and natural gas people, that 9% of the water plants that are pretty sure they won't make it. Maybe just one big press conference at someplace like the whitehouse or United Nations where a credible representative of every infrastructure-related industry steps forward to say, "Same here. Sorry."

Then what? Just get ready to turn everything off? Give everybody 90 to 120 days to get ready to live without all those nuclear power and chemical and other plants/things that are subject to y2k breakdowns (and which of them isn't)?

How would all that work, do you think?

So again. What's the point? What would the information from this (or any other) impromtu layperson's detective work, study, comparison to show the possibility that many or all weird occurrences from now on are y2k-related be used for?

Is it to be able to do something constructive? If so, what?

If there's no answer to that question, then what's the reasoning behind it?


-- Fernard (, March 26, 1999.


Extremism at its best.

I am still hoping that someone can put forth any documentaion that indicates the normal occurrence of explosions during any given time.

I am just curious -- so flame me.

-- Wondering (, March 26, 1999.


Thank-you. And don't be offended. I didn't mean to take it all out on you. It's the whole endless searching for further information, evidence, proof that there's this big problem, that occasionally gets my goat. There's a mountain of hard drives/servers loaded with electronic ream upon ream of the kind of thing I'm referring to here. Most of us have been reading it for what feels like 30 years. It all seems to say about the same thing, yet few seem to be able to get enough of it. It's as though nearly everyone is searching for the silver bullet of y2k bad news (while castigating those who believe in, or search for the silver bullet of good news). THE article, story, report, situation, that will somehow prove it once and for all. And when it comes to Internet y2k communications, that search, presentation, speculation, seems to eat up an awful lot of time, energy, thought and expression. I may be an extremist, but then again, I may be less so than it seems, and this phenomena I'm talking about - this endless flogging of the horse everyone pronounced dead long ago, and the curious re-examination of its corpse - may prove much more extreme than anything I could ever type.

At any rate - nothing personal. Your curiosity is no less valid than mine.


-- Fernard (, March 26, 1999.

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