Lightning strikes transformer at Texas City refinery, causes fire

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Thursday, August 20, 2015
Texas City Valero refinery
The Texas City Valero refinery was struck by lightning and caught transformer oil on fire.
ktrk-Crystal Mitchell

TEXAS CITY, TX (KTRK) -- Lightning struck an electrical transformer at the Valero Texas City refinery, causing a fire to break out.

Officials with Texas City OEM say the lightning strike happened just before 6:20am. Multiple people on social media told Eyewitness News they could see thick, black smoke coming from the facility.

Officials say the smoke is the result insulating oil within the transformer that caught on fire after the lightning strike. Firefighters on scene say they have the situation under control and are letting the fire burn itself out.

No one at the plant got hurt. Texas City OEM says there is no danger to the community, but it is asking all non-essential personnel to avoid the area around the Valero Refinery on South Loop 197 until further notice.

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