April 2, 2023
Tesoro refinery disaster (2010)
Sunday, April 2, 2023
Refinery workers Daniel J. Aldridge, Matthew C. Bowen, Darrin J. Hoines, Kathryn Powell, Donna Van Dreumel, Lew C. Janz and Matt Gumbel died after an explosion in the Naptha Hydrotreater Unit rocked Tesoro’s Anacortes refinery on this date in 2010. The blast, caused when a heat exchanger ruptured after a maintenance restart, rattled every window in a two mile radius. It was Washington State’s worst industrial disaster in 50 years. A federal investigation found that Tesoro failed to properly test the equipment and cited a lax safety culture. The Washington State Department of Labor charged Tesoro a $2.4 million fine, citing 39 willful violations. Although the plant has paid millions to the families of the victims, Tesoro fought the state’s fine for years, until a judge overturned it in 2017.