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October 2, 2012

Blast probe could take months

OKLAHOMA CITY — It could take months for officials to determine what caused an explosion at an Oklahoma refinery that killed one worker and critically injured another, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Department of Labor said Monday.

The plant, Wynnewood Refining Co., owned by CVR Energy Inc. of Sugar Land, Texas, was shut down for scheduled maintenance and upkeep when a boiler that was being brought back online exploded Friday evening. The turnaround resumed Saturday at the refinery.

Billy Smith, 34, of Pauls Valley, was killed and Russell Mann, of Davis, remained hospitalized in critical condition Monday at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City.

Investigators with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration arrived at the scene Saturday and were expected to remain there for up to a week, said Elizabeth Todd, a spokeswoman with the labor department.

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