Search for cause of refinery blast

Investigators are attempting to establish the cause of Wednesday's explosion at the giant BP refinery at Texas City, 35 miles south of Houston, that killed 15 people and injured more than 100.

There has been no suggestion that the blast was the result of terrorism or a criminal act. The refinery, the third largest in the United States, processes about 3 per cent of the country's oil production. The blast occurred in the part of the complex where the octane level of petrol is increased. Petrol price futures climbed 2.8 cents a gallon as news of the disaster emerged.

"It's clear that we have a lot of work to do to make sure we understand exactly what happened, and we're going to do that," Ross Pillari, the president of BP America said. "We are going to put all of our resources into it." Federal investigators also plan to review the accident, the third at the refinery in the past six months.