Cause of Southern California refinery explosion under investigation, authorities say

The cause of an explosion and fire at a Southern California refinery was under investigation Wednesday as air quality authorities conducted laboratory testing to determine whether any toxic gases were released.

No one was injured and there were no immediate indications that any toxic substances affected the community around the Marathon Petroleum refinery in Carson, authorities said.

It was not immediately clear whether the fire would push gasoline retail prices higher, as has happened after previous fires or unplanned shutdowns at California refineries.

The fire erupted late Tuesday night after an explosion in a cooling tower, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department, which assisted the refinery’s own firefighters.

“Air monitoring is ongoing, and no risk to the community has been identified,” Marathon said in a statement.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District said the refinery has monitoring equipment installed around its perimeter and real-time data showed no elevated levels of gaseous toxic substances.

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