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Valero assessing damage in Texas refinery fire

From the Associated Press

Crews were working Sunday to assess the damage at a Valero refinery where a fire Friday sent 19 people to the hospital, a company spokeswoman said.

Mary Rose Brown, a spokeswoman for Valero Energy Corp., said the company’s McKee refinery in Sunray remained a “highly sensitive area” and access remained restricted.

“We do not yet know the full extent of the damage, the required repair time or the estimated production impact,” she said in a news release.

Brown said the blaze was believed to have started at the refinery’s “propane de-asphalting unit,” where fuel is processed at high temperatures.

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Two Valero employees and a contract worker were transferred to University Medical Center’s burn unit in Lubbock on Friday night. One remained in critical but stable condition Sunday evening and the two others were in good condition, Brown said. The 16 other people who were taken to hospitals had all been treated and released.

Valero, the largest refiner in North America, operates 17 refineries, 16 in North America and one in Aruba. The McKee refinery in Sunray is one of six in Texas and has a capacity of 170,000 barrels a day.

Shares of Valero closed Friday at $55.96, up 40 cents.

Sunray, which has population of about 2,000, is about 60 miles north of Amarillo.


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