Mobil, 2 Executives to Be Tried in Explosion

An appellate panel has ruled that Mobil Oil Corp. and two of its former executives must stand trial on misdemeanor charges stemming from a fatal 1988 explosion at the company's Torrance refinery.

The Superior Court appeals panel ruling overturned South Bay Municipal Judge Thomas Allen's dismissal last year of charges against Mobil and former managers Wyman Robb and Tom Gregory. Allen had ruled that the parties were not criminally liable for the explosion because it was caused by a private contractor, Cal Cat Chemical Co.

The July 15, 1988, explosion left one Cal Cat employee dead, another seriously burned and a third with hearing damage.

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