One Dead at Murphy Oil Refinery Fire

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One Dead at Murphy Oil Refinery Fire

MERAUX, La. -- A flash fire during maintenance work at the Murphy Oil refinery in suburban New Orleans killed one worker and injured another yesterday.

The fire forced the shut down of one unit but most of the refinery continued operation, according to the Associated Press.

Officials said a hydrocarbon product in a line flared about 10:45 a.m., fatally burning a man working in an aerial basket. He was pronounced dead at the scene, said Coroner Bryan Bertucci.

The resulting fire burned another man who was working on a valve on a catwalk closer to the ground. He was taken to a hospital with burns over 10 percent of his body and a suspected arm fracture, the report said.

Both were employed by Meraux, La.-based Lou-con Construction Inc. Murphy Oil said the names of the victims were being withheld until relatives could be notified.

Murphy Oil, based at El Dorado, Ark., is one of the nation's largest gasoline wholesalers and operates Wal-Mart-based gas station-convenience stores in 12 states.