One dies, one is hurt after explosion at southern Oklahoma refinery

A refinery explosion killed one and injured another Friday night in Wynnewood, Garvin County officials said. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol shut down portions of State Highway 17A and U.S. 77 about 6:55 p.m. Friday after the explosion.
by LeighAnne Manwarren Modified: September 29, 2012 at 1:06 am •  Published: September 28, 2012
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A refinery explosion killed one and injured another Friday night in Wynnewood, Garvin County officials said.

The injured person was taken to a hospital by an emergency medical helicopter, Garvin County Sheriff Larry Rhodes confirmed.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol shut down portions of State Highway 17A and U.S. 77 about 6:55 p.m. Friday after the explosion.

The American Red Cross sent volunteers to Wynnewood to provide supplies for fire crews, and stayed on scene about three hours.

Rhodes said he is not sure how the explosion happened but said it happened in a unit used in the refining process.

No names were released Friday night. Highways were reopened about 9 p.m.

Company officials issued a statement late Friday expressing their sympathies to the employees and families affected by the explosion. They said they were assessing the situation and would provide updates as information becomes available.

The Wynnewood refinery was acquired by CVR Energy Inc. in December 2011. The refinery can handle up to 70,000 barrels of crude oil a day, turning it into gasoline, diesel fuel, military jet fuel, solvents and asphalt.

Between 2006 and 2010, five fires erupted at the refinery.

In May 2006, the refinery's explosions and fires forced about 150 residents to evacuate. About a week later, a fire-related acid leak spurred more evacuations.

In April 2007, the refinery was struck by lightning, causing a fire that burned for several days.

In February 2008, a furnace caught fire. In December 2010, a gas release in one of the refinery's processing units caused an explosion.


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by LeighAnne Manwarren
Breaking News Reporter
LeighAnne Manwarren is a reporter covering breaking news, crime and weather for The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com. An Oklahoma City native, Manwarren is a University of Oklahoma journalism alum and has interned for The Oklahoman, the Oklahoma Gazette,...
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