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New Mexico biofuel plant catches fire

By JUAN CARLOS LLORCA, Associated Press Published: May 28, 2014

— The Rio Valley Biofuels plant near the town of Anthony, N.M., a biofuel facility, caught fire Tuesday, sending a giant column of black smoke into the air and prompting authorities to briefly evacuate an area that includes about 350 homes. A series of small explosions was reported, but there was no immediate word of any injuries, Dona Ana County spokesman Jess Williams said. Anthony is on the New Mexico-Texas line between Las Cruces, N.M., and El Paso, Texas. Witnesses described hearing loud explosions and seeing large flames as fire trucks and emergency responders rushed to the scene. The company began commercially producing bio-diesel fuel from recycled oil from local food processors in 2006.