A refinery fire in El Dorado injured six people last Saturday. According to officials, firefighters received a call at approximately 3:30 p.m. to respond to the Delek El Dorado Refinery, formerly known as Lion Oil. According to El Dorado Fire Chief Chad Mosby, the refinery’s fire brigade had brought the blaze under control by the time the department arrived at the scene.
"It was reported as a small explosion, but it appeared to be a flash fire of some sort," Mosby said.
According to reports, at least one of the injured workers sustained second- and third-degree burns on his face and hands. The man’s wife learned of his condition from a company nurse and revealed that he’s on a ventilator due to a swollen throat. He’ll also require surgery for skin grafts.
The girlfriend of another injured worker confirmed that he was also on a ventilator and that she believes every person hurt by the blast required one.
The El Dorado Refinery Has a History of Fires
Rochell Thompson, who lives on the same street as the refinery, reported feeling her home shake and then heading outside to see the refinery on fire. She told local media that, since it wasn’t the first time she’d seen the refinery erupt in flames, she started to record what she saw.
The refinery last caught on fire in February of 2019. As with the most recent incident, the refinery’s fire crew was able to control the fire before El Dorado fire crews arrived. The cause of the blaze was never released, and no one was injured during it.
“My heart was skipping a beat when I saw how high the fire was,” Thompson said. “My mom stays across the street. She felt like trying to leave the area. She already has health problems. I hope no one got hurt”
According to a press release from Delek, the refinery was in the process of undergoing a turnaround at the time of the accident. When asked if the company has policies to assist with the medical costs of injured workers, Blake Fernandez, an executive at Delek, said the company doesn't “get into sharing a lot of the minutiae details on that front.” Fernandez also wasn’t to provide details about the 2019 fire when asked to provide them by the press.
Our refinery accident lawyers will continue to follow developments about this incident.