At least 14 people are reported dead and more than 100 others are injured after a massive explosion rocked an oil refinery in the United States. Rescue workers were searching through the rubble in a desperate attempt to find survivors.
Local people were told to stay in their homes as huge plumes of thick smoke poured from the BP plant at Texas City, close to Houston. Nearby roads were closed and children remained in their classrooms at school as firefighters battled to put out the flames.
The refinery is the third biggest in the continental United States. Employing nearly 2,000 people, it processes around 450 million barrels of crude oil every day – that is some three percent of the US domestic oil supply.
Petrol prices in the country leapt as news of the explosion reached the financial markets.
Some of those hurt are in a serious condition. Many suffered broken bones and concussion.
What caused the explosion isn’t yet clear. A full investigation is now underway.