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March 3rd, 2010

Two Texas Refinery Workers Killed in Oil Refinery Fire

UPDATE:

A lawsuit has been filed by the survivor of this oil refinery explosion.

The welding accident involving a tar tank explosion.

One of the two injured survivors, Juan Carlos Hermosillo, aka Elias Aleman, sustained occupational injuries of the face, arms, and back, including several fractures and lacerations.  The 24-year old plaintiff claims that the plant failed to follow reasonable measures to ensure safety, failing to follow proper safety procedures in preventing occupational injuries.  The lawsuit also alleges that the plant was negligent in authorizing work that led to the accident and that the site was not properly inspected prior to the accident. Aleman claims that he returned from lunch, ignited his welder and the tank exploded.

Aleman is seeking unspecified damages.
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In New Mexico today, federal and state investigators looked at the blackened debris of the New Mexico oil refinery where a storage tank explosion killed two Texas men and critically injured two others.  The accident occurred in an area away from the main plant.  The wind on Tuesday was luckily blowing the smoke away from the refinery and the city.

Warning sirens sounded just before 1 p.m. yesterday at the Navajo Refinery, in Artesia, New Mexico.  The 24-hour Artesia plant refines oil into diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, and other products, including asphalt.

The plant was evacuated.  One body was found on the site, and a second man remains missing and is now presumed dead.  These unfortunate refinery workers were Natividad Andajo of Odessa, Texas, and Victor Villa of Midland, Texas. Two other workers were airlifted to a Lubbock, Texas, hospital in critical condition.  Their names have not yet been released to the media.

All four workers were employed by a contractor at the refinery, Northwest Insulation of Texas, he said.

OSHA is investigating the oil refinery explosion and its casualties.  A team from the New Mexico State Environment Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Bureau is also assisting with the investigation.

The Refinery Explosion Attorneys of Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers  send our condolences to the families of Mr. Andajo and Mr. Villa and the families of the other injured workers from the Artesia plant.  Anyone who needs more information about their rights with regard to a Refinery Accident, please contact us for more information by emailing us atinfo@smslegal.com.

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