Chevron Refinery Leak Soils Cars : Local News in Brief

An estimated 200 people may have found the finish on their cars marred by cleaning solvent that spewed into the air after a mechanical failure at Chevron's El Segundo refinery, a company spokesman said Wednesday.

Rod Spackman said a tube in a heat exchanger ruptured Monday, causing steam to mix with the solvent. The mixture dissipated into the air, and a "light mist" fell over a seven-square-block area, primarily in Manhattan Beach, he said. The incident lasted no more than 10 minutes, he said.

Chevron distributed leaflets about the incident, Spackman said. People were told to contact refinery officials to have their cars cleaned.

The company isn't sure but thinks an ordinary wash and wax will remove the gunk from vehicles.

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