Worker Dies after Refinery Flash Fire

Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 03:03 PM gHale

One worker is dead and two others injured after a fire at the Valero Energy Corp. Memphis, TN, oil refinery last week.

Nicolas Cuevas, one of three contract workers injured in a flash fire, died Saturday afternoon.

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A flash fire on a flare platform hit the three contract workers doing work on the flare as part of the crude unit turnaround going on at the plant, Valero spokesman Bill Day said. The workers, employed by JV Industrial, ended up rushed to a local hospital. The extent of their injuries was not immediately available, Day said.

Even with the incident, Valero said it should not extend the planned duration of turnaround maintenance under way at the plant’s crude unit.

One report on the Memphis Commercial-Appeal website said two of the three injured had suffered burns over 90% of their bodies.
The crude unit turnaround got under way March 2 and should conclude on or about April 6.

The Memphis refinery is able to process up to 195,000 barrels of crude oil a day.

The company’s president issued the following statement Saturday:

“This is a terrible tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Cuevas’ family. We will do all we can to help them through their loss. We continue to assist and support our other two injured employees, and their families.”

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