Fire extinguished, search for cause begins at ConocoPhillips refinery

Tuesday, July 22nd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Ponca City-AP) -- An investigation began Tuesday into what caused an explosion at a ConocoPhillips gasoline processing unit at Ponca City.

The explosion during routine maintenance Monday injured three workers at the northern Oklahoma refinery. It also caused fire that burned for about 12 hours before being put out at about 11 Monday night.

ConocoPhillips employee Tim Crank of Ponca City is in critical condition at an Oklahoma City hospital after suffering burns. Two other workers were treated and released at a Ponca City hospital.

ConocoPhillips spokeswoman Diane Anderson says the company has no damage estimates as it tries to get the refinery running again.

The Houston-based company says the refinery is operating at minimal capacity, but the company is able to meet the supply needs of all customers.

The Ponca City plant has about 1,700 employees and can process up to 194,000 barrels of oil per day.