How Philly narrowly avoided disaster after refinery explosion

Listen 14:09
Vessel fragment 3 (red arrow) weigning 15,500 pounds, lies in a ditch near the Platt Memorial Bridge on the grounds of the PES refinery in South Philadelphia. On June 21 an explosion at the refinery launched three fragments, including one that flew across the Schuylkill River. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Vessel fragment 3 (red arrow) weigning 15,500 pounds, lies in a ditch near the Platt Memorial Bridge on the grounds of the PES refinery in South Philadelphia. On June 21 an explosion at the refinery launched three fragments, including one that flew across the Schuylkill River. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Listen to The Why wherever you get your podcasts:
Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | RadioPublic | TuneIn


Federal regulators have confirmed that more than 3,000 pounds of a toxic chemical called called hydrofluoric acid was released during the massive explosion at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery in June. StateImpact Pennsylvania reporter Susan Phillips breaks down why no one was injured and how the city narrowly avoided a disaster.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.