Second worker dies following Alberta oilsands explosion

EDMONTON -- Occupational Health and Safety says a 30-year-old worker who was critically injured in an explosion at an oilsands upgrader in northern Alberta has died.

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The critically injured man had been transported to the burn unit at an Edmonton hospital, where his family from Nova Scotia stayed by his side.

It's the second death resulting from the explosion -- a 52-year-old employee was pronounced dead at the scene.

The blast occurred at Calgary-based Nexen's (TSX:NXY) Long Lake plant near Fort McMurray on Jan. 15.

A Nexen official said at the time that the two men were doing maintenance work.

No one else was injured.

The blast occurred in a part of the upgrader that breaks hydrocarbon molecules into smaller pieces to make a lighter oil product for shipping.

Nexen Energy ULC was acquired by China's state-owned CNOOC Ltd. more than two years ago.

A pipeline rupture at the plant last summer leaked five million litres of a mixture of bitumen, produced water and sand into muskeg. Documents show the Alberta Energy Regulator's investigation into the spill continues, even though the deadline to determine what caused it was Oct. 15.


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