The Latest: Colorado lawmakers urge probe of fatal oil blast

AP News
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Posted: May 26, 2017 2:17 PM

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — The Latest on a fatal oil tank fire in northern Colorado (all times local):

11:35 a.m.

Two Colorado lawmakers are calling on the owner of an oil tank facility that was the scene of a fatal explosion to cooperate with state investigators to ensure it doesn't happen again.

House Majority Leader KC Becker and Rep. Mike Foote, both Democrats, said Friday that the fire that killed one worker and injured three others was unacceptable — especially coming after a fatal house explosion in the region blamed on a natural gas pipe leak.

Foote says the industry and government "have an obligation to treat these incidents not as isolated or freak accidents."

Anadarko Petroleum Co. says it's investigating what caused Thursday's blast in Mead, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of Denver.

An April 17 house explosion in nearby Firestone killed two people. Investigators blamed it on natural gas from a severed pipeline linked to an Anadarko-owned well.

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11:15 a.m.

The oil tank battery that caught fire Thursday in Mead was not in operation when it caught fire Thursday, killing one and injuring three.

That's according to the owner of the site, Anadarko Petroleum Company.

The company has not identified the workers. Anadarko says they were "finishing projects associated with a facility upgrade." The company didn't elaborate.

Anadarko says it is investigating what caused the fire.

An oil tank battery is a collection of tanks that receive crude oil production from a well.

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10:15 a.m.

Colorado's governor says it's too soon for the state to take any action in response to a fatal oil tank explosion in Thursday.

The explosion at an oil tank battery in Mead killed one worker and injured three more.

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper is resisting calls from an environmental group to temporarily shut down all Colorado gas wells owned by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. The company owns the site of Thursday's explosion and another well that caused a fatal home explosion in Firestone. Two people were killed in that blast.

Hickenlooper told reporters Friday that it was too early for any government response pending an investigation into the Mead incident. He said, "Let's see what happened first."

The victims of the Mead explosion have not yet been named.

An oil tank battery is a collection of tanks that receive crude oil production from a well.

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8 a.m.

A fatal oil tank battery fire in northern Colorado appears to be unrelated to a nearby home explosion last month caused by a leaky gas line.

Thursday's blast in Mead killed one person and injured three others. All were working on a battery at the site owned by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.

The explosion happened less than 4 miles away from the Firestone neighborhood where an April 17 explosion killed two people. Investigators blamed that explosion on natural gas from a severed pipeline. Anadarko owns that well, too.

The Weld County Sheriff's Department tells The Denver Channel that the two deadly incidents aren't related.

Cpl. Matt Turner with the Weld County Sheriff's Office tells the station that Thursday's blast was "a completely separate incident all together."

Thursday victims haven't been identified.