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Seven Workers Burned As Refinery Vat Ruptures

December 25, 1986

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A heating vat at a Texaco refinery ruptured, burning seven workers with hot crude oil, fire officials said.

Benjamin Alejo, 34, of Long Beach was in critical condition at Memorial Medical Center of Long Beach, after Wednesday’s accident, a hospital official said.

Another worker, Gary Klopp, 50, of Long Beach was in fair condition at the same hospital.

Five workers were treated for minor burns and released, the spokesman said.

The cause of the morning rupture was unknown, fire officials said, and investigators from the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health went to the refinery on East Pacific Coast Highway to investigate.

The rupture occurred as petroleum was being treated with a powdery catalyst at the refinery about 25 miles south of Los Angeles, authorities said.