Officials are currently assessing the situation to determine if an evacuation is necessary, as a toxic cloud of black smoke looms over the the area. There is so much smoke, and it is so dark, that it can reportedly be seen from over six miles away.
There are now fears that the tens of thousands of tonnes of oil may ignite, the Daily Mail reported, as firefighters continued to work to battle the blaze.
— L'ALE ® (@snailale) December 1, 2016
— Ermanno Bidone (@ermannobidone) December 1, 2016
"The fire occurred inside refinery Italian ENI energy company occurred around 15:40 (local time), causing a large fireball of tens of meters,” the Italian Department of Civil Protection in the province of Alessandria said in a statement.
Residents who witnessed the explosion quickly posted photos and videos to social media.
— Graziano Sida (@gra_67) December 1, 2016
No injuries have been reported, according to a statement from the Italian oil company.
— Damadifuoco 🔝 (@damadifuoco) December 1, 2016
The cause of the fire remains unknown.