Lawsuit Details Cause of New Mexico Oil Refinery Explosion

Staff Report
The Associated Press

Two days after an explosion and fire killed two Texas men at a southeastern New Mexico oil refinery, one of the injured survivors has filed a lawsuit that details the cause - a welding accident on a large tank partially filled with tar.

Plaintiff Juan Carlos Hermosillo of Hobbs sustained multiple fractures to both arms, a broken hip and back and facial cuts in Tuesday's explosion at Navajo Refinery in Artesia.

The 24-year-old Hermosillo, also known as Elias Aleman, remains in intensive care at a hospital in Lubbock, Texas.

Officials with Navajo Refinery and its parent company, Dallas-based Holly Corporation, didn't immediately return telephone messages seeking comment.

Another defendant, Total Safety Incorporated, also hasn't responded to requests for comment.