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Contract worker injured in Louisiana refinery explosion and fire, company says

Monday's fire is under control and all employees and contract workers have been accounted for, according to a Marathon Petroleum Corp. spokesperson.
Image: Marathon Petroleum
The Marathon Petroleum Corp. refinery in Garyville, La., on May 25, 2018. Callaghan O'Hare / Bloomberg via Getty Images file
/ Source: Reuters

One person was injured in an explosion and fire on Monday morning at Marathon Petroleum Corp.’s 578,000 barrel-per-day crude oil refinery in Garyville, Louisiana, a company spokesperson said.

“One contract worker sustained an injury and is currently being evaluated at a local healthcare facility as a precaution,” Jamal Kheiry said in an emailed statement.

He added the fire at the refinery was under control and all employees and contract workers had been accounted for. Kheiry did not discuss the status of operations at the refinery, which is the third-largest in the United States.

Video posted by television station WWL-TV showed no flames visible but water from high-power hoses was being sprayed on units at the refinery located along the Mississippi River 34 miles west of New Orleans.

Local media reports said the fire began following an explosion felt for miles around the plant. A nearby highway was closed for about an hour following the start of the fire, according to law enforcement officials.

The fire broke out at 9:30 a.m., Kheiry said. Emergency officials in St. John the Baptist Parish said the explosion was heard at about 9 a.m.

The Garyville refinery, which completed a major expansion in 2009, can process a variety of crude oils into gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and distillates. The refinery also produces asphalt, petroleum coke and feedstocks to make plastics.