New Jersey

Blast Rips Top Off Tank at NJ Asphalt Plant; Neighbors Forced From Homes

Firefighters say an explosion in large tank of asphalt and ensuing fire forced neighbors from their Gloucester City homes Tuesday morning

NBC Universal, Inc.

A blast tore the top of a tank off at a South Jersey asphalt plant overnight, forcing neighbors from their homes as flames burned.

Witnesses said they heard a blast around 12:50 a.m. Tuesday in Gloucester City, Camden County. Fire could then be seen coming from a tank at Blueknight Energy Partners L. P. It is right along the Delaware River and not far from the Walt Whitman Bridge.

First Responders went door to door to evacuate neighbors from their homes. The area between Water Street and Jersey Avenue and 3rd and 5th streets was evacuated as firefighters poured foam onto the blaze.

No injuries were reported.

The fire was out and with daybreak, SkyForce10 captured the top of a tank at the asphalt plant torn off, jagged edges of metal exposed.

On its website, Blueknight Energy says it supplies liquid asphalt and crude oil to customers. In a statement, the company said they were "pleased" that no one was hurt and thankful for the quick fire response. "There was no product released as the tank retained its integrity," the statement said.

The cause of the explosion and fire remained under investigation as crews cleaned up Tuesday. Neighbors were allowed back into their homes Tuesday morning.

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