Fire breaks out at Total oil refinery in Britain

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A fire broke out at Britain's third largest oil refinery Tuesday, causing an explosion and sending a huge plume of black smoke across the sky, emergency services and witnesses said.

Police said two people were treated for minor injuries from the blaze at the Lindsey Oil Refinery near Hull in northeastern England, which was tackled by more than 50 firefighters.

People living nearby reported hearing the incident across a wide area and black smoke could be seen five miles (eight kilometres) away in Hull.

The fire service said the blaze involved crude oil.

The refinery is owned by French oil giant Total and has a processing capacity of more than 200,000 barrels per day. It started production in 1968.

"Total Lindsey Oil Refinery, near Immingham, in North Lincolnshire, confirms that a fire occurred at 11:57am (1057 GMT) today, shortly followed by a small explosion," a Total spokeswoman said.

"The refinery emergency plan has been put into operation. The county emergency services are at the scene assisting the refinery's emergency response team."

© 2010 AFP

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