Two Local Men Killed in New Mexico Oil Refinery Fire

Staff Report
The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Federal and state investigators were probing blackened debris Wednesday at a southeastern New Mexico oil refinery, where a storage tank explosion a day earlier killed two Texas men and critically injured two others.

Authorities say warning sirens sounded just before 1 p.m. at Navajo Refinery, which sits at the intersection of U.S. 82 and U.S. 285 in Artesia, surrounded by businesses.

The plant was evacuated.

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

He identifies those men as Natividad Andajo of Odessa, Texas, and Victor Villa 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.