APNewsBreak: Refinery probe focuses on corrosion

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Associated Press

Posted on August 12, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Updated Sunday, Aug 12 at 10:01 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal investigators probing the cause of a massive Chevron refinery fire in Northern California are focusing on corrosion in a decades-old pipe the company inspected late last year.

Investigators with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board say they're trying to determine why Chevron didn't replace the pipe when it had a major inspection in November.

That inspection led Chevron to replace an old pipe connected to the one that failed in Richmond on Monday, catching fire, sending up black smoke and causing thousands to seek medical attention.

Also, investigators told The Associated Press on Saturday that more than a dozen Chevron refinery workers were engulfed by vapor and escaped serious injury by just seconds when it ignited.

Chevron did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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