Oil refinery Philadelphia Energy declares bankruptcy after explosion, costing 1,000 workers jobs

Less than a month after an explosion rocked a South Philadelphia refinery, the company that owns it has filed for bankruptcy.

It’s the second such filing by Philadelphia Energy Solutions in less than two years. According to Reuters, 1,000 people who worked at the plant will be laid off.

The largest refinery on the East Coast burst into flames in late June after authorities said a butane vent malfunctioned. It took hours to tame the fire, which had residents sheltering in place for the better part of the morning.

It was the second fire at the facility that month.

In a statement, Mark Smith, CEO of Philadelphia Energy said the $100 million agreement in new financing will "safely wind down our refining operations and, with the support of our insurers and stakeholders, best position the company for a successful reorganization, the rebuilding of our damaged infrastructure, and a restart of our refining operations.”


Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney confirmed the refinery closure shortly after the incident, explaining in a statement he was, "Extremely disappointed for the more than one thousand who will be immediately impacted by this closure."

Philadelphia refinery will close: Why it matters

One of the oldest and largest refineries on the East Coast is closing.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board and the Philadelphia Fire Department are each taking roles investigating the explosion.