3000 people have sought the help of a personal injury attorney in Richmond, claiming health problems from the Chevron fire, ABC7 reports.
The massive fire which started at about 6:30 p.m. local time Monday, caused the crude unit to spew toxic gas into the air, prompting police to order residents in Richmond and several other communities to stay indoors for a few hours.
The company didn’t provide an update on production at the 245,000-barrel-a-day facility, which is the largest in the San Francisco Bay area and accounts for nearly 10% of the refining capacity in the U.S. West Coast.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Chemical Safety Board are two of several agencies involved in investigating the fire.
The 245,000-barrel-per-day refinery is the second biggest in California and the crude unit is expected to be shut for up to three months for repairs.
The Monday fire at Chevron was a near duplicate of a 1999 incident at the Richmond refinery that involved multiple explosions and fires and sickened an even larger number of residents.
A smaller 2007 fire was apparently triggered by a pipe leak and shut down the entire refinery for a few months at the beginning of the year.