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Two Workers Hurt in Blast at Refinery

Two workers at a Mobil Oil refinery in Torrance received minor injuries from a flash explosion that occurred while they were cleaning out pipes in an oil separation unit Wednesday, Torrance fire officials said.

The two workers, Sylvester Harris, 43, and Charles Powell, 29, were both released after treatment at a hospital.

“This was just a minor blast that occurred when they apparently encountered a small accumulation of hydrocarbons that somehow was left in the lines,” said Torrance Fire Capt. Robert Rahn. “Normally, before they start cleaning the carbon from those units, all of the explosive substances have been purged.”

The refinery was the scene of a spectacular explosion and fire in a propane treatment unit Nov. 24 in which two workers received minor injuries.

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