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Reactions to the South Philly refinery explosion

Philadelphians documented the fire online


Many Philadelphians woke to a terrifying scene early Friday morning: a fireball sent into the air from a massive explosion at a South Philly oil refinery.

No one was injured in the explosion and subsequent fire, which was reported around 4 a.m. and burned for hours, but many area residents were told to stay in their homes until the scene was deemed safe around 7 a.m. It’s unclear what caused the incident, but officials say that a vat of butane exploded at the refinery on the 3100 block of West Passyunk Avenue.

In the hours following the explosion, many onlookers took to social media to document the blaze, which could be seen from miles away. Below, check out some of the first reactions to the early morning fire:

Some viewers caught images of the explosion as it happened, and in the immediate aftermath:

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I thought it was world war 3 for a second ‍♂️

A post shared by Dathen Purnell (@dathenpurnell) on

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#fire #refinery #philadelphia

A post shared by Matt Roesch (@mroesch91) on

Social media users reported hearing and seeing several explosions:

Others showed just how far away the explosion could be seen

Weather experts jumped into action, showing that the heat from the explosion was visible by satellite:

Some expressed concern for PES workers and residents in the area following the blaze:

By daylight, social media users were still documenting the effects—namely a dark plume of black smoke—seen from the fire: