Worker Dies after KS Refinery Fire

Friday, September 8, 2017 @ 03:09 PM gHale

A worker has died due to injuries one day after a Monday fire at HollyFrontier’s El Dorado, Kansas, refinery, a local hospital confirmed on Tuesday.

A fire was reported at the 150,000 barrel-per-day refinery on Monday and the worker in the immediate area suffered from severe burns, the company confirmed Monday. 

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Timothy J. Underwood, 52, was rushed to the hospital at 11 a.m. Monday with second- and third-degree burns on more than 80 percent of his body, a Butler County dispatch supervisor said.

Underwood died overnight, according to Via Christi Hospital St. Francis without providing any additional details. 

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and colleague. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends,” said George Damiris, chief executive and president of HollyFrontier Cos.

Underwood was a member of the local chapter of the United Steelworkers, according to the labor union. 

“It is a difficult time for all. Our union is working with OSHA to investigate this incident and find the root cause(s) so it does not happen again.” Lynne Hancock, spokesperson for the USW’s oil sector.

The fire started after a furnace associated with the plant’s reformer unit blew, a source familiar with the plant’s operations told Reuters on Monday. 

The 22,000 bpd reformer unit was shut down, but the rest of the refinery remains in operations, the source said.

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