Feds probing if fire at Texas refinery caused by welder


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NEDERLAND, Texas (AP) — Federal investigators are reviewing whether a welding contractor working on a crude oil pipeline connection under construction might have helped ignite a flash fire that injured seven people at a Southeast Texas refinery.

The Beaumont Enterprise reports (http://bit.ly/2aTW1jY ) the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Saturday was investigating the fire at the Sunoco refinery, located about 10 miles southeast of Beaumont, Texas.

Jeff Shields, a Sunoco spokesman, says part of the investigation into Friday night's fire will review whether the contractors followed safety practices.

Shields says seven contract workers were injured, four of them critically.

Three workers were flown to burn specialist hospitals in Houston and Galveston and the rest went to local hospitals by ambulance.

Shields did not have an update on the conditions of the injured workers.

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