Two blasts rock oil refinery in southern France

The explosion occurred close to Marseille Provence Airport

Baku. 14 July. REPORT.AZ/ Two blasts have rocked a petrochemical plant in Bouches-du-Rhône department in southern France, authorities say. The explosion occurred close to Marseille Provence Airport, the fifth-busiest in the country.

"Two tanks, 500 meters apart from each other and filled with chemicals, are affected", Report informs citing foreign media, a source close to the investigation told France’s press.

The first tank contained gasoline and the second had naphtha, a flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixture. Some 120 firefighters were immediately dispatched at the scene. Authorities say they have implemented special measures to prevent possible hydrocarbon pollution of the town and nearby communities. A "preventive dam" was installed in the city near the plant to prevent hydrocarbon pollution related to fire-fighting water.

Impressive plumes of smoke are visible at the site and air pollution is expected in the areas within a radius of 1.5km from the affected plant, France Bleu Provence radio reported. A northwestern wind spreads the plumes of smoke to the surrounding towns of Marignane, Les Pennes-Mirabeau and St Victoret.

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