Worker Killed in Oklahoma Oil Refinery Explosion

Wynnewood refinery had been shut down for maintenance


 
 

KEN MILLER, Associated Press | | Monday, October 1, 2012


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An oil refinery employee remained in critical condition Sunday at an Oklahoma City hospital as work resumed at the facility where an explosion earlier in the weekend left him injured and another worker dead.

Friday's blast at a boiler inside the refinery south of Oklahoma City injured Russell Mann of Davis and killed Billy Smith, 34, of Pauls Valley, said Garvin County Sheriff Larry Rhodes. The sheriff did not know Smith's age and the hospital wouldn't confirm it.

The CEO of CVR Energy Inc., which owns the refinery in Wynnewood, said in a statement Sunday that the Sugar Land, Texas, company is working with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration and state agencies that are trying to determine what caused the explosion.

"I would like to express my deepest sympathy for the employees and families affected by this tragedy," Jack Lipinski said. "We are conducting a thorough investigation of the incident and cooperating fully with OSHA and the Oklahoma Department of Labor."

Rhodes said OSHA investigators arrived at the site on Saturday.

OSHA officials did not immediately return phone messages and emails Sunday.

Damage at the refinery was limited to the boiler, and no other areas of the facility were affected, according to the company's statement.

Rhodes said the explosion occurred after the plant had been shut down earlier in the week for planned maintenance, a 40-day process called a turnaround.

"There is no crude oil refining going on right now," he said.

The turnaround, a periodic shutdown of operations, is for maintenance and upkeep of operating units and resumed Saturday, the company said.

"We want to thank Wynnewood and Garvin County emergency response teams for their rapid response and assistance," said Wayne Leiker, vice president and refinery manager.

The company also had a team of firefighters on site that had the situation under control when deputies arrived, Rhodes said.

"I do know there was no fire; it was more of a blast of the gasses and the pressures that built up within that (boiler)," the sheriff said.

Highways near the site, which is 65 miles south of Oklahoma City, were shut down for nearly two hours after the explosion, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

CVR's website says the company acquired the refinery when it purchased Gary-Williams Energy Corporation in 2011. The refinery has a daily capacity of 70,000 barrels of crude and produces gasoline, diesel fuel, military jet fuel, solvents and asphalt.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
 



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, blast

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

The Evolution of Civilian High Threat Medical Guidelines

How mass killing events have proven a need for new guidelines.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Kentucky Firefighters, Medics Drill for Ebola

Lexington firefighters and medics prepare for possible patients.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Mid-South EMTs Prepare for Ebola

Mid-South EMTs are certified for service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Ebola Changes How North Carolina EMS Responds to Calls

Concern about virus spread leads to new protocols.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Oklahoma Hospitals Prepare for Ebola Cases

Training and preparation are keys for metro hospitals.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Life Link III Trauma Tactics Conference in Minnesota

Conference was designed to enhance the skills of providers of all levels, covering rescue and prehospital situations, to transport and in-hospital treatment.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

EMS Tailgating

Rigs converted for football.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

CDC Ebola Training for Clinicians

Students learn the complexities of working in bulky suits.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >