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Small Fire Still Burns at PES Refinery; Mayor Kenney Joins Walk; 2 Women Hit By Car in West Philly
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 06/23/19 4:28 am | updated: 06/23/19 4:28 am
A small fire continues to burn at the South Philadelphia oil refinery complex after Friday morning's large explosion. Philadelphia Energy Solutions said, "We continue to work to isolate the remaining line; access is limited due to the damage and instability of the remaining structure. We haven't made a decision to let it burn itself out, but that may occur before we can safely isolate it." Officials say there is no danger to the public and that they are continuing to monitor air quality. The explosion happened around 4:05 a.m. Friday, 6/21, at the 150-year-old refinery complex located on the 3100 block of Passyunk Avenue. It was felt from South Jersey to Delaware County and shook many awake in the early morning hours. A shelter-in-place was ordered for a short time after the blast but was lifted Friday morning. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health continues to do air readings and "has no findings that would point to any immediate danger in the surrounding community at this time." There are some that are calling for the refinery to shut down, including Councilwoman Helen Gym.

UPDATE: The fire at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery in South Philadelphia has been extinguished.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney joined a Community Crisis Intervention Program team on one of their evening neighborhood walks on Saturday, 6/22. The Office of Violence Prevention, Philadelphia Anti-Violence and Anti-Drug Network, and the Philadelphia Police Department took to the streets in West Philadelphia near 64th and Woodlawn Avenue. They are hoping to prevent, respond to, and end violence and drug abuse in the community. It starts by reaching out and talking with residents. They focus on community crisis intervention by offering youth job training and educational opportunities. "We've been having an uptick in violence and an uptick in homicides so it's been very depressing and frustrating," Mayor Kenney said. "I want to make sure they know we have their backs and that people in this community and others know that someone cares about them and what's going on and trying to stop it." Teams conduct walks on Thursday through Sunday evenings, and begin walking during the day time in July. The program receives funding from the city and started August 2018.

Two women were taken to the hospital after being hit by a car in West Philadelphia on Saturday evening, 6/22. It happened after 5 p.m. at the intersection of 52nd and Spruce Streets. This happened about a block from Saturday afternoon's Juneteenth parade and festival at Malcolm X park. The driver of the car, 87-year-old Virginia Jackson, supposedly accidentally stepped on the gas pedal instead of the brake and swerved onto the sidewalk. A 51-year-old women who regularly sells beads and jewelry on side of the road was pinned under the front of the car. "They said somebody is underneath the car, and the people responded and somebody is underneath there, they broke the bumper, lifted the car up and they got her out," said witness Traci Reid. The other victim, a 29-year-old woman, suffered cuts and bruises and a contusion to the head. They were both taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and are in stable condition. The driver was not injured. Police say it was accident. No charges have been filed.

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