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3 Killed in Blast at Oil Refinery

January 13, 1999

SMACKOVER, Ark. (AP) _ An explosion rocked an oil refinery Wednesday, killing three people, a company spokesman said.

Bill Prewett, an attorney for Cross Oil Refinery, said the victims were employees of an outside contractor.

State Police Capt. Larry Gleghorn said the employees were working on a naphtha tank valve when the explosion occurred. Naphtha is a colorless, volatile petroleum distillate _ usually an intermediate product between gasoline and benzine. It’s used as a solvent.

Gleghorn said the local fire department and hazardous materials team were working to handle the naphtha leak.

State police, the local fire department, a hazardous-materials team and the county coroner were on the scene of the blast, which occurred about 10:30 a.m.

Smackover is about 110 miles south of Little Rock.

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