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 ( ) 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.


Information from: The Eagle,


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