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Oklahoma refinery explosion causes fatality

01 October 2012

A boiler being brought back online after maintenance exploded at an oil refinery in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, killing one worker and injuring another on September 28. Both were employees of the CVR Energy-owned plant. Boilers are required at a refinery to generate steam for electrical power production, and for use in the crude oil refining process.

"All other employees are accounted for at this time," said CVR spokeswoman Angie Dasbach. "Company officials are assessing the situation and will provide updates as information becomes available."

The plant has been shut for a planned turnaround and there was no crude oil refining taking place when the incident occurred.

Local law enforcement officers said the incident was caused by a build up of gases within the unit and that there was no fire.

A portion of State Highway 17A and Highway 77 were shut down for nearly two hours after the explosion, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

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

Wynnewood is located 67 miles south of the state capital of Oklahoma City.

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