NEW BADEN, Texas (AP) _ State regulators say a worker had used a cutting torch when a Central Texas oilfield storage tank exploded and left him critically hurt.
The Eagle (http://bit.ly/VThmkk) newspaper reported Friday that the worker was removing bolts from a catwalk atop the tank near New Baden (BAY’-dun).
Texas Railroad Commission investigators say the 12,000-gallon tank contained oil sludge during Wednesday’s blast. Authorities say the worker was wearing a safety harness as he was thrown clear during the explosion, then the safety line slammed him face-first into the hot steel.
The fire burned through a strap and the man fell to the ground. He was in critical condition when transported to a Houston hospital. His name and further details on his condition weren’t immediately released.
New Baden is 100 miles northeast of Austin.