2,000 Gallons of Gas Spills at Texas Refinery

December 1, 2008

More than 2,000 gallons of gasoline spilled from a tank Nov. 28 at the same East Texas refinery where an explosion recently killed one worker and injured five.

The unleaded gas from Delek Refining Ltd. spilled into a creek, where firefighters set up a foam barrier to try to stop the spread. No injuries were reported.

Tyler Fire Department Chief Joey Wiggins said firefighters started clearing out an area after residents reported a strong gas smell. Delek called authorities and reported the spill, Wiggins told the Tyler Morning Telegraph in the Nov. 28 online edition.

On Nov. 21, 49-year-old James Dale Sharman died after an explosion and fire at the refinery, which employs about 270 people.

The Tennessee-based company’s East Texas facility refines up to 60,000 barrels of crude per day and is the 94th-largest oil refinery in the U.S. It remains shut down as Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators determine the cause of the explosion, the paper reported.

Delek was cited Feb. 19 by OSHA for safety violations that included failing to ensure valves were properly configured and an inability to show structures followed blast resistance guidelines.

Spokeswoman Susan Morgenstern said the company had no further details on the spill.

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