In local news:

A major fire in the heavy oils unit of Shell’s Motiva refinery yesterday morning resulted in no injuries or fatalities. According to the Advocate, industrial firefighters battled the blaze for more than four hours before St. James Parish officials declared it extinguished about 3:30 PM. The fire started at about 10:50 AM and flames at one point reached dozens of feet high. Workers said they heard a high pressure noise and then fled; 1400 employees and contractors were at the plant at the time of the fire. Workers also suggested that Motiva’s safety procedures for heavy rain and lightning, which had earlier Thursday sent many out of the plant into tents and other holding areas until the lightning and rain ended, inadvertently prevented injuries from the fire.

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