Woods Cross, UT Refinery Explosion, May 1980


Woods Cross, Utah (AP) -- Some 100 firefighters underwent tests and treatment for possible acid inhalation as a refinery fire that forced the evacuation of a trailer court was burning itself out today, officials said.
Twelve firemen and a refinery employee were admitted to Lakeview Hospital following the explosions and fire at the Phillips Petroleum refinery Friday.
The fire, which forced evacuation of a trailer court for two hours, was reported contained and under control late Friday.
Miles Lacey, plant manager, said there were three explosions during the fire, including two blasts that ruptured pipelines in the area of the plant that manufactures high-octane gasoline.
Lacey said the cause was unknown.
He said the blaze was in the alkylation unit, where light hydrocarbons are processed with acid to produce the high-octane gasoline.
A nursing supervisor, who asked not to be identified, said all firefighters were being given two of oxygen inhalation and chest X-rays to determine if there had been any lung damage from inhaling smoke containing hydrochloric acid.
Those admitted, all reported in fair condition, were to undergo six hours of oxygen treatment, she said, and some were expected to be released today.
Plant officials said the fire posed no threat to nearby residents but law enforcement and fire officials decided to evacuate the 72-unit ROlling Homes trailer court south of the refinery. Most of the residents were evacuated, but some declined to leave.
Lacey said the propane-butane fire eventually would burn out, but he didn't know how long it would take.

Indiana Gazette Pennsylvania 1980-05-03