Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Local News

October 2, 2012

Tragic blast to get closer look

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — An internal investigation remains ongoing into the cause of a boiler explosion at the Wynnewood refinery last Friday night that killed one employee and critically injured another.

CVR Energy, Inc., officials announced Sunday they have launched an investigation into the blast that resulted in the death of 34-year-old Billy Smith of Pauls Valley and critically injured Russell Mann, 45, of Davis.

The explosion occurred at approximately 6:20 p.m. Sept. 28 as operators were restarting a boiler that had been temporarily shut down as part of the refinery’s turnaround process.

Although more needs to be learned about the cause, Garvin County Sheriff Larry Rhodes said it appears the explosion was just a terrible accident.

“Our role was mainly as a first response to assist with any rescue,” Rhodes said.

“Our investigation showed us it was a tragic accident that led to the death of an employee,” he said.

“It was just a tragic industrial accident.”

It remains unknown what caused the explosion, but the sheriff said it was the blast itself that killed Smith and injured Mann.

“The boiler unit exploded, but there was no fire,” Rhodes said. “The injuries were the result of the blast; debris that was blown from the blast.”

CVR officials have been quick to provide updates and express their condolences for the tragic loss.

“I would like to express my deepest sympathy for the employees and families affected by this tragedy,” said Jack Lipinski, CVR Energy chief executive officer

“We are conducting a thorough investigation of the incident and cooperating fully with OSHA and the Oklahoma Department of Labor,” he said.

“Our focus is to determine how this accident occurred and what steps must be taken to avoid a repeat of this incident. We remain committed to providing a safe working environment for our employees and contractors.”

Damage at the refinery was limited to the boiler. Process units and other areas of the facility were unaffected.

Additionally, there has been no evidence of environmental impact. No damage estimates were immediately available.

The turnaround, which is a periodic shutdown of the operations, allows for necessary maintenance and upkeep of operating units. The Wynnewood refinery turnaround resumed Saturday.

“We want to thank Wynnewood and Garvin County emergency response teams for their rapid response and assistance,” said Wayne Leiker, vice president and refinery manager.

“We had immediate support from the community, local clergy, the city and first responders,” Leiker said.

“I especially want to thank our employees and contractors for their support, hard work and dedication during this difficult time.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Winners plentiful at peach festival

    With no shortage of visitors making the Stratford Peach Festival a summer destination, it was a win-win situation for all parties this past weekend.

    July 24, 2014

  • Indian Meridian and Grant Wreck Indian Meridian and Grant Wreck

               

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Search on for new 911 boss

    The search for a replacement is now on after it was announced the coordinator of Garvin County’s 911 center is stepping down.

    July 24, 2014

  • Stratford Peach Festival 2014 PeachFest draws big crowd

    Unseasonably comfortable weather, a day full of family fun and one of the best fruit crops in recent years. Mix that together and you have one of the best-attended Stratford Peach Festival’s on record.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ‘Evening in the Valley’ set

    It might still be summer but some in Pauls Valley already have an eye on a new school year right around the corner.

    July 23, 2014

  • PV City meetings set for 6 tonight

    The Pauls Valley City Council, PV Hospital Authority and Municipal Authority have set their meetings at city hall at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • DHS Caregiver Awards Love of client pales next to awards

    On any given day one can find a good story about caregivers going the extra mile to meet the needs of acutely disabled individuals.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brain Tumor Fundraiser Life battle leads to higher calling

    A Pauls Valley woman’s battle with a brain tumor has led her to what could turn out to be a higher calling.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Na na na na na na na BAT KID Big birthday salute to Batman

    The Dark Knight, better known as the superhero Batman, will soon get a special salute in Pauls Valley for his birthday.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • PVGH ready to dive into community interaction

    The biggest developments at Pauls Valley General Hospital continue to be the big moves and purchases necessary to bring the facility up to date.

    July 18, 2014

Business Marquee

e-Edition
  • How You Want It When You Want It Today's Pauls Valley Democrat

    Now you can view and download the Democrat right to your desktop on the day the paper is published. Click here to get more information on the Democrat's e-Edition.

     

    CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE E-EDITION SITE

     

    ATTENTION CURRENT DEMOCRAT SUBSCRIBERS TO START an e-EDITION

    e-mail request to sjohnson@pvdemocrat.com

    April 20, 2011 1 Photo 1 Link

AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
Stocks
Facebook