Federal safety agency investigating explosion at Lemont refinery that killed a man and injured another person

An asphalt tank exploded at the refinery in the 12000 block of South New Avenue about 10 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Will County sheriff’s office.

SHARE Federal safety agency investigating explosion at Lemont refinery that killed a man and injured another person
An emergency room sign at a hospital.

Sun-Times file

Federal safety investigators are looking into an explosion at the Seneca Petroleum refinery in southwest suburban Lemont that killed a man and injured another person Tuesday.

An asphalt tank exploded at the refinery in the 12000 block of South New Avenue about 10 a.m., according to the Will County sheriff’s office.

Dru Worker, 25, of Homewood was pronounced dead at the scene and a second person was taken to Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet, the sheriff’s office said.

Worker was employed by M&J Industrial Services and he was at the Seneca refinery when the explosion occurred, according to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Worker was a wrestling coach at Victor Andrew High School in Tinley Park. “Dru worked to grow our T-Bolts on and off the mats,” School District 230 said in a statement. “He helped instill confidence and sportsmanship in our T-Bolts. Our deepest condolences to the Worker family.”

M&J Industrial Services released a statement saying “the equipment involved was not owned or operated by our company,” and added that “we are cooperating with federal and state authorities in their investigation.”

OSHA said in a statement that it has opened an investigation into both M&J Industrial Services and Seneca Petroleum. The investigation could take six months to complete, it said.

Officials have said they do not believe there was any release of hazardous materials, and the sheriff’s office said there was no danger to the public.

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