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Federal regulators investigate Wibaux plant fire

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 3, 2013 at 10:14 am •  Published: January 3, 2013

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Federal health and safety regulators have opened an investigation into an explosion and fire at an eastern Montana oil recycling facility that injured three workers and was still burning five days after the blast.

Two investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration arrived at the Custom Carbon Processing salt water disposal and oil reclamation facility near Wibaux this week, said Department of Labor spokeswoman Deanne Amaden.

The explosion and fire happened Saturday as the contents of a tanker truck were being pumped into the facility while the three workers were installing insulation.

The OSHA investigators are looking into whether the company was following safety procedures and whether the explosion could have been prevented, Amaden said.

"It doesn't necessarily mean the company had a violation," she said.

An OSHA investigation is thorough and typically takes up to six months, Amaden said.

Green Oasis Environmental Inc., the Alberta, Canada-based parent company of Custom Carbon Processing, has not made any public statements on the explosion and fire. Company officials did not return a call for comment Wednesday.

The tanker was still on fire Wednesday, with flames shooting out of two vents, preventing the state fire marshal from determining a cause and hindering the OSHA investigation.

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