KGMI News Reporting, Metro
By Mike Curtiss
ANACORTES, Wash. – A new federal report blames lax safety standards for a 2010 refinery explosion in Anacortes that killed seven workers.
U.S. Chemical Safety Board investigators found that the Tesoro refinery was using old, failing equipment and that the company had developed a “complacent” attitude about occasional fires.
Dr. Daniel Horowitz with the safety board says the Tesoro explosion was the worst tragedy in the U.S. refining industry in almost a decade.
He says state and federal regulators need to ensure that refineries are using the safest equipment available, and that they’re taking steps to prevent accidents instead of just dealing with them after they happen.
The workers died when a 40-year-old heat exchanger cracked and exploded on April 2, 2010.
A lawsuit filed by the families of six of the seven workers killed is being settled.
An attorney for the law firm who represented the families told the “Skagit Valley Herald” the $39 million settlement is being divided among the families.
The suit was filed in February 2011 against the Tesoro Oil Refinery and the refinery’s former owner, Shell Oil Company.