Federal Regulators Cite Exxon Mobil for Safety and Lack of Responsiveness in Torrance

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Federal investigation into the explosion at Exxon Mobil's Torrance refinery last year found multiple safety-management problems that led to the incident and endangered the lives of "many community members."

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board released part of its findings Wednesday from the investigation into last February's Torrance refinery explosion, which has been a major contributor to high gasoline prices in the Los Angeles area.

The Chemical Safety Board said Exxon Mobil hasn't complied with requests for information about a near-miss incident during the Feb. 18 explosion. To date, the agency said it has "no or incomplete responses to 49% of its subpoena requests."

The explosion injured workers and dispersed large quantities of dust up to a mile away from the plant. In addition, investigators said large pieces of debris from the explosion hit other equipment at the facility while narrowly missing a tank containing tens of thousands of pounds of hydrofluoric acid. Had the debris struck the tank and ruptured it, investigators said, the incident could have had "a potentially catastrophic release of extremely toxic [hydrofluoric acid] into the neighboring community."

Click here to read the full story at LATimes.com.