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June 21, 2019

On Twitter, Philly fireball has people thinking of 'Chernobyl'

'Philly loved HBO's 'Chernobyl' so much that they tried to do their own rendition,' one tweeted

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HBO Miniseries Chernobyl 06211019 Credit/HBO

A scene from "Chernobyl," the miniseries by HBO.

When a vat of butane exploded early Friday morning at an oil refinery in Philadelphia, images of the immense fireball reminded many of "Chernobyl."

Not so much the catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred April 26, 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, but the powerful and haunting HBO miniseries that masterfully dramatizes the story of the biggest manmade disaster in history.

Starring Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård and Emily Watson, the critically-acclaimed production highlights the sacrifices by everyday citizens that helped save Europe from catastrophe. It premiered May 6 in the United States, and many viewers who caught on late have just recently finished watching the five-episode series or are currently midstream.

The nuclear accident was precipitated by a devastating and destructive steam explosion that ripped open the core of Reactor No. 4 and resulted in a fire that burned hot for nine days, spewing radioactive contamination into the atmosphere.

On Friday morning, as images of the fiery Philadelphia blast were playing on social media and local television, many were thinking about the haunting images of "Chernobyl," and took to Twitter to share their reactions – some serious, many others humorous – to the news.

One meme even characterized the refinery explosion as "Jawnobyl."