Two hospitalized after Sinclair refinery fire

Jul 31, 2013

Two people were taken to the hospital after a fire started at the Sinclair Refinery near Rawlins yesterday.

John Ysebaert with Wyoming’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration, or OSHA, says the fire started when workers who were erecting scaffolding tripped a valve. That released so-called “super-heated diesel,” which ignites when it hits the atmosphere.

OSHA is investigating the incident.

Last year, Sinclair had a series of fires and explosions, which injured several workers. Ysebaert says since then, Sinclair has hired new safety consultants, joined a refinery safety alliance, and taken steps to better train its workers. But he says they might need to do more.

“We are all just frustrated with this,” Ysebaert said. “We’re frustrated, Sinclair is frustrated, employees are frustrated. ... They’ve made quite a bit of progress, and yet we still have this latest issue.”

Sinclair said in email that the fire was minor, with minimal damage, and that the workers who were hospitalized have been released.