Investigators sift through debris after 2 employees killed in NM oil refinery explosion

By Sue Major Holmes, AP
Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Feds probe NM refinery explosion that killed 2

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Federal and state investigators are probing blackened debris at a southeastern New Mexico oil refinery where a storage tank explosion killed two men and critically injured two others.

Authorities say warning sirens sounded just before 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Navajo Refinery in Artesia, and the refinery was evacuated.

Police Sgt. Lindell Smith says one body was found on the site, and a second man is missing and presumed dead.

Smith identified the men as Natividad Andajo (nah-TEE’-vee-dad an-DAH’-hoh) of Odessa, Texas, and Victor Villa (VEE’-yah) of Midland, Texas.

Smith says they were employed by a contractor at the refinery, Northwest Insulation of Texas.

Two other contractor employees were airlifted to a Lubbock, Texas, hospital in critical condition.

The refinery has resumed operations.

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