Refinery workers and rescue agencies practice for disaster

A lot of Costa Rican communities live near a potential disaster. The Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo S.A. has a pipeline that carries all the petroleum-based products from the Moín terminal to the rest of the country. The pipeline is mostly above ground.

The pipe can rupture. In fact, that happened Oct. 15 in Pacuarito de Siquirres.  The state company said that there was an electrical problem in a high-tension line and a cable broke. An end of the cable fell and smashed into the pipeline. The pipe was carrying diesel.

That was not a big rupture. In anticipation of a major event, such as a vehicle crashing into an above-ground pipe while it is carrying gasoline, refinery workers held a simulation Monday.

The location was the town of Colorado de Turrialba, some 374 homes and 875 residents.

There also is a school and a child care center.

The community had a lot of visitors that day. The simulated emergency brought refinery experts but also the Cruz Roja, the  Fuerza Pública, the Cuerpo de Bomberos and the local emergency commission.

After containing the simulated emergency, the refinery workers engaged in mopping up the imaginary petroleum leak.

The refinery officials terms the drill a success and said that one reason for such efforts is so that various agencies can work together. They also said they wanted to expose the communities to the situation and the response.

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