Officials warn of gas from Bay Area oil refinery

June 15, 2012 

RODEO, Calif. (AP) - Contra Costa County officials are warning residents and motorists about gas that leaked from a ruptured tank at a ConocoPhillips refinery next to Interstate 80.

The company says a tank containing hydrogen sulfide ruptured around 7 a.m. Friday. It's still trying to determine what caused the leak.

County health officials say hydrogen sulfide concentrations near the refinery were at levels considered safe. But the gas has an offensive rotten-egg smell that can cause dizziness and nausea.

Officials warned people with asthma or other respiratory sensitivity to avoid the area.

Refinery workers pumped diesel into the tank to prevent more odors from escaping.

Hercules resident Marie Shalz told the Contra Costa Times (http://bit.ly/LrxW0C) that people at a pool near the refinery suffered burning eyes, dizziness and nausea after noticing the smell.

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Information from: Contra Costa Times, http://www.contracostatimes.com

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