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Washington State Refinery Explosion, Fire Kills Three

Apr 2, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP

An explosion and fire at the Tesoro Corp. oil  refinery in Anacortes, Washington has killed three workers and injured four others.

Witnesses reported that the explosion , which occurred around 12:30 a.m. PT, shook homes as far as five miles away, and shot flames into the sky. According to the Seattle Post Intelligencer, the refinery’s human resource manager said the explosion occurred in the catalytic reformer naptha hydrotreater unit of the complex while 10 workers were performing maintenance work in the area.

The four injured workers were taken by medical helicopter to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The victims, two men and two women between the ages of 29 and 41, are listed in critical condition, and are in the intensive care unit with major burns over the majority of their bodies.

The dead have not been identified.

Fire departments from Skagit County and Anacortes responded to the emergency. The fire ignited by the blast was put out within two hours by refinery crews.

The Tesoro refinery, which sets on Puget Sound, is located about 70 miles north of Seattle. According to the Tesoro Web site, it has the capacity to refine about 120,000 barrels of crude oil daily.

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