An oil refinery in Italy has been rocked by a massive explosion.
Italian emergency services have ordered local residents to stay inside their home.
The Italian Department of Civil Protection in the province of Alessandria said in a statement “The fire occurred inside refinery Italian ENI energy company occurred around 15:40 (local time), causing a large fireball of tens of meters.”
ENI, Italy’s biggest refiner, said in a statement the fire had started at around 4.00 pm in the so-called EST plant at the refinery. The cause was still unknown.
The fire is currently being extinguished, Eni said.
Traders said the 200,000 barrels-per-day refinery had started a 30-day maintenance on November 6.
Eni built the EST plant, ENI Slurry technology, to convert heavy oil residues into petrol and diesel products.
A spokesperson for the Italian fire brigade said earlier on Thursday the fire was large and had sent up clouds of smoke.
There’s a lot of smoke and we are currently evaluating whether any sort of evacuation plan may be needed, Luca Cari said.