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Chevron refinery worker, 49, dies in early-morning furnace blast

It's something that refinery workers in Georgia know is always a possibility. A plant operator was killed in a work accident when a fire and explosion occurred at the Chevron Pascagoula Refinery, the blast vibrating throughout the city.

The 49-year-old woman was a five-year veteran at the facility, one of roughly 500 operators helping to manage the flow of crude oil and other stock. The plant manager said that his response teams kept the fire isolated, which stopped it from reaching other areas of the refinery.

The explosion and fire occurred inside a furnace in the wee hours of the morning, killing the operator as she was standing outside the Cracking II unit. The incident closed that section of the refinery, but the facility was never wholly shut down. Chevron Pascagoula can process 330,000 barrels of oil a day. No one else was injured in the tragedy, although the refinery was staffed by hundreds at the time of the blast.

This was not the first fire at Chevron Pascagoula. In 2007 a fire raged at the facility, causing a nearby school to be cleared out, but no injuries resulted. Another small fire happened in 2008 and injury was again avoided. However, this was also not the first explosion for Chevron USA -- not even for the past week. In the earlier incident, a gas pipeline was punctured by workers, setting off an explosion and the evacuation of a nearby town.

Industrial accidents like a fire or factory explosion can kill. Workers suffering an on-the-job injury in a manufacturing accident or industrial workers' accident may seek redress of damages in a court of law. A negligent employer can be held legally responsible for many kinds of work injury.

Source: SunHerald.com, "Alabama woman killed in Chevron's Pascagoula Refinery explosion", Karen Nelson, November 16, 2013

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