“How many times do we try this before we actually get a release that kills 1,000 people? . . . People should never have been allowed to live this close to these refineries. It’s just unconscionable to have allowed that to happen.”
~ Dr. Ron Koopman, conductor of the 1986 “Goldfish” hydrogen fluoride release tests in the Nevada desert
In the predawn hours of June 21, explosions at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery in South Philadelphia shook houses, sent fireballs into the air and woke up nearby residents.
“Three loud explosions, one after the other, boom, boom boom!” says David Masur, who lives about two miles from the plant and has two young kids. “It’s a little nerve-wracking.”
Masur watched as the refinery spewed black smoke above the city, easily visible from his home. But what he didn’t know at the time was just how close he and his family came to getting exposed to hydrogen fluoride, one of the deadliest chemicals used by refiners and other industrial manufacturers.
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Refinery Explosions Raise New Warnings About Deadly Chemical
Listen to the companion interview with NPR’s Susan Phillips by clicking here