Accident Description

Accident: Tosco Avon Refinery Petroleum Naphtha Fire

Location: Location: Martinez, CA

Accident Occurred On: 02/23/1999 | Final Report Released On: 03/21/2001

Accident Type: Oil and Refining - Fire and Explosion

Investigation Status: The final report on this investigation was approved March 21, 2001.

On February 23, 1999, a fire occurred in the crude unit at Tosco Corporation. Avon oil refinery in Martinez, California. Workers were attempting to replace piping attached to a 150-foot-tall fractionator tower while the process unit was in operation. During removal of the piping, naphtha was released onto the hot fractionator and ignited. The flames engulfed five workers located at different heights on the tower. Four men were killed, and one sustained serious injuries.