Phoenix firefighters and hazardous materials crews are at the scene of an explosion at a Paramount Petroleum plant in central Phoenix.
The explosion happened about 1 p.m. today at the plant, near 19th Avenue and McDowell Road.
“There appears to be a large tank that had raw asphalt product in it,” said Victor Rangel of Phoenix Fire. “That caught fire and exploded. At this point, we have no injuries.”
Rangel said no structures were threatened. Firefighters were trying to keep the fire from spreading to other tanks.
No evacuations were ordered.
McDowell Road from 19th Avenue west to the freeway is closed.
19th Avenue south and north from Roosevelt to McDowell Road is closed.
It was a frightening situation for businesses located near the tank that exploded.
Josh Scott runs Renovated Metals, which is about 100 yards from the tank that exploded. His workers heard an explosion. The ground shook. Then police evacuated the employees.
“A huge boom and they said sulfur, it smelled like sulfur pretty bad, so they’re all a little shaken up,” Scott said. “The shock waves scared them pretty much. The police came in and evacuated them, so we took them to our other yards.”
Phoenix fire ladder trucks are spraying thousands of gallons of water on the tank to cool it down and keep it from spreading to several other tanks nearby.
“So many cylinders over there if it spread, I just want to be safe and make sure my guys are safe and when the fire department clears it and lets them back then we’ll open back up again today,” Scott said.
There’s no word yet on what triggered the explosion.