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Leak at Marathon Galveston Bay Refinery, Texas, causes workers, residents to take shelter

Marathon Petroleum Corp ordered workers to shelter in place at its 585,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Galveston Bay Refinery in Texas City, Texas, on Tuesday because of a hydrofluoric (HF) acid leak from an alkylation unit, said sources familiar with plant operations.

Adds company spokesman, city officials' orders

HOUSTON, May 4 (Reuters) - Marathon Petroleum Corp MPC.N ordered workers to shelter in place at its 585,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Galveston Bay Refinery in Texas City, Texas, on Tuesday because of a hydrofluoric (HF) acid leak from an alkylation unit, said sources familiar with plant operations.

A Marathon spokesman was not immediately available to talk about operations at the refinery.

The leak was coming from the 31,500 bpd alkylation unit 3, the sources said.

Officials in Texas City told residents north of the refinery to shelter indoors with doors and windows closed and air conditioning systems turned off.

Hydrofluoric acid, used to turn refining by-products into octane-boosting gasoline additives, can collect in low-lying clouds that can be moved by wind.

Wind in Texas City on Tuesday afternoon was from the south-southeast.

Hydrofluoric acid can burn skin, eyes and lungs, causing damage leading to death.

(Reporting by Erwin Seba Editing by Chris Reese and Grant McCool)

((erwin.seba@thomsonreuters.com; +1 832 746 4269; Reuters Messaging: erwin.seba.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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