Chevron facility in Calif. deemed hazardous

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Associated Press

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 8:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 14 at 6:00 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Structural engineers have deemed the site of a Chevron refinery fire in the San Francisco Bay area hazardous for human entry after looking at the failed pipe that leaked and sent a towering plume of black smoke into the sky.

U.S. Chemical Safety Board spokeswoman Hillary Cohen on Monday said the investigators are discussing plans for how to make the site safe so the pipe can be removed for testing.

The Aug. 6 blaze destroyed an area of the refinery that produces a large amount of the gasoline that satisfies California's clean-air regulations, the toughest in the nation.

The blaze sent thousands of residents to hospitals with complaints of eye irritation and breathing difficulty. The company has set up a claims center to help those seeking compensation from exposure to the smoke.

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