Total Lindsey Oil Refinery
Oil Worker Killed In Explosion
An oil worker has been killed in an explosion at a refinery in North Lincolnshire.
The victim was working on a distillation unit which exploded at the Lindsey Oil Refinery at 12.00pm on Tuesday. He has yet to be named.
People living in the area surrounding the plant in North Killingholme reported hearing the explosion and more than 50 firefighters from Humberside Fire and Rescue Service tackled the blaze. Thick black smoke was seen billowing from burning crude oil.
Employees said the fire started in a superheated industrial heater close to where they walked to work.
Two other people were treated for minor injuries following the blast. One was taken to the Diana Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby.
The incident further highlights the dangers involved in the oil industry after the massive Gulf of Mexico oil platform explosion in April which killed 11 workers and has created an environmental disaster in the area.
In a statement, French oil company Total which runs the refinery, said: "It is with deep regret that Total Lindsey Oil Refinery can confirm that there has been a fatality following the fire and explosion at 11.57. The deceased has yet to be formally identified.
"Formal investigations have been launched by the police and the Health and Safety Executive. We are fully co-operating with these inquiries in order to understand exactly why this tragic incident occurred."
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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "This was a major work accident, the circumstances of which will need to be fully investigated.
"Explosions at work pose a risk to the safety of workers and local residents."
Mr Urpeth represented over 75 workers and many residents who were injured in the 2001 at the Killingholme refinery when over 170 tonnes of liquid petroleum gas caught fire, the largest chemical disaster since Flixborough. Conoco-Phillips, who owned the plant, was eventually fined £1m for breaching health and safety regulations after the explosion at its Humber refinery.