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Truck explodes at refinery

SAN ANTONIO — An 18-wheeler being loaded with fuel at a San Antonio refinery exploded Wednesday, setting off a chain reaction of smaller explosions and sending a towering plume of thick black smoke over the city’s southeast side. One person was critically burned, and the driver of the exploding truck remained missing.

San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said officials were trying to determine whether they could reach a shut-off valve at the AGE Refining Inc. facility to cut off the flow of fuel to the large tanks in the loading area. Several were heavily damaged in the blasts.

“It’s a very dangerous situation,” said Chief Hood, who noted they also were trying to determine what kind of fuels are burning. “We will be out here quite a while.”

Several employees were treated at the scene and everyone except the driver of the truck that exploded was accounted for, Chief Hood said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports