Our Northwest Economy
10:20 am
Tue April 6, 2010

Tesoro And State Investigating Oil Refinery Explosion

Oil refiner Tesoro is investigating the deadly Friday morning explosion in Anacortes. But the company does not yet have an explanation for the incident. The blast at the oil refinery killed four Tesoro workers and gravely injured three others. Senior Vice President Lynn Westfall said in a press conference Friday that the explosion occurred near a heating and cooling area. 

Lynn Westfall: "There's a bank of these units, called heat exchangers, that perform this heating and cooling function and periodically they need to be opened up and cleaned. And that was the simple procedure that was going on prior to...now, again, we do not know if there is any connection between the cleaning work that was going on and the incident because we haven't into the unit yet."

The press conference was broadcast on KING-5-TV. Investigators with the Washington Department of Labor and Industries are also on the scene. Last year, the agency fined Tesoro for 17 "serious" safety and health violations at the Anacortes oil refinery.

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