- Associated Press - Friday, July 11, 2014

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 (https://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.

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Information from: The Eagle, https://www.theeagle.com

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