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Explosion at South Philly Refinery; Record Cocaine Seizure at Port; Double Murder, Car Chase Video
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 06/21/19 8:46 pm | updated: 06/21/19 8:46 pm
A massive explosion at a Philadelphia oil refinery lit up the sky and shook the ground for miles in the predawn hours Friday, 6/21. Fire broke out around 4:00 a.m. at the 150-year-old Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex on the 3100 block of Passyunk Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia. There were actually a series of explosions that could be felt from South Jersey to Delaware County. The fire went to three alarms which included the Philadelphia Fire Department and the onsite PES fire brigade. There was a shelter-in-place for local residents this morning because of smoke/air quality, but that has been lifted. The cause of the fire in under investigation.

Federal authorities provided updates into the record seizure of cocaine at the Port of Philadelphia earlier this week. The foyer of the Philadelphia Custom House was filled with brick upon brick of the narcotic. Investigators said they are only showing about a quarter of what was seized. The updated total is now 17.5 tons, the largest in U.S. Customs and Border Protection's history. Six people have been charged with one count each of knowingly and intentionally conspiring with each other and with others to possess more than five kilos of cocaine on board a vessel. That is a federal charge and could result in life in prison. According to the crew, the cocaine was loaded onto the ship while at sea from smaller boats that would pull up to its side. The bricks were then hidden in various containers. U.S. Customs scanning equipment detected anomalies in seven containers and discovered the drugs once opened. They are still searching the boat for more. The ship's final destination is still unclear.

UPDATE: The final estimate for cocaine seized was 39,525 pounds, or nearly 20 tons. The 17,928.21 kilograms of cocaine intercepted at the Packer Marine Terminal on June 18 has a street value of nearly $1.3 billion.

New Jersey authorities have arrested and charged a man for killing his ex-girlfriend's young brother and her grandmother on Wednesday evening, 6/19. The Burlington County Prosecutor's Office announced that 23-year-old Terrance Matthews has been charged in the deaths of 68-year-old Jennifer Vassell and her grandson 9-year-old Ishon Mathiln Jr. It happened Wednesday evening while the ex-girlfriend was at work at the home on the 100 block of Eastbrook Lane in Willingboro. Matthews stabbed both victims and also drowned the boy in the bath tub. He waited until she returned home and held her captive overnight. On Thursday morning, Matthews took the girlfriend to the Wawa on Springside Road in Westampton Township. She told an employee she needed help and that Matthews killed her family. He then fled the store and led Camden County police on a high speed chase. Part of the chase was streamed live on his Facebook. Matthews eventually unbuckled his seatbelt and crashed his car. He was apprehended after a foot chase. Matthews is charged with two counts of Murder (First Degree), one count of Kidnapping (First Degree), one count of Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Third Degree) and one count of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Fourth Degree). The killing may have been a result of an argument the couple had earlier in the day.

UPDATE: The Burlington County Prosecutor's Office says that 23-year-old Terrance Matthews is now accused of shooting at two men in a car Willingboro in February. It happened on February 18 around 1 a.m. on Millbrook Road. 21-year-old Davell Williamson was killed and the other man was wounded. He is has been charged with first-degree murder and related offenses in this case.

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