US Refinery Blast Claims One, Three Missing

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An explosion and fire at an oil refinery in Washington State, United States of America, shook homes and shot flames into the night sky early Friday, killing one person, leaving three workers missing and critically injuring four others.

The fire struck the Tesoro Corp. refinery in Anacortes, north of Seattle, the state’s capital, at about 12:30 a.m., the company said in a statement.

The blaze occurred at the naphtha unit while maintenance work was being performed, and was extinguished in about 90 minutes, the company said.

There was one confirmed fatality, four employees were hospitalized and three employees were unaccounted for, the company said.

Nearby residents, some five miles from the complex, called Washington TV stations after midnight with reports of an explosion, saying flames were being blown by high winds.

The four injured workers were taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. A nursing supervisor who declined to give her name said all four were in critical condition.