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Nation in brief: Lightning starts fire at oil refinery

Children play in a yard less than half a mile from a tank battery burning Saturday at an oil refinery in Wynnewood, Okla. 
 (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Children play in a yard less than half a mile from a tank battery burning Saturday at an oil refinery in Wynnewood, Okla. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

Flames and smoke poured into the sky Saturday over an oil refinery where lightning set off a fire and an explosion that was felt miles away, authorities said.

No injuries were reported, and there were no immediate evacuation orders in the south-central Oklahoma town, said Mike Hancock, a spokesman for Wynnewood Refinery Co.

Flames and smoke boiled hundreds of feet into the air from two 80,000-gallon tanks in the Wynnewood Refinery complex, officials said. Firefighters doused the area surrounding the tanks Saturday.

“Tank fires are pretty pesky fires. They’re easy to keep contained, but they’re hard to fight,” Hancock said. “It’s hard to estimate how long it will be. It can take a day or so to burn the product.”

The fire started Friday when lightning hit a tank containing naphtha, an unrefined form of gasoline.

Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, Colo.

Site memorializes 1864 massacre

More than 142 years after a band of state militia volunteers massacred 150 sleeping Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians in a misdirected act of vengeance, a memorial to the tragic event was officially dedicated Saturday.

The Sand Creek Massacre National Historic site, located 160 miles southeast of Denver on Big Sandy Creek in Kiowa County, pays tribute to those killed in the shameful Nov. 29, 1864, attack.

Seeking revenge for the killings of several settlers by Indians, 700 militia members slaughtered nearly everyone in the village. Most were women or children.

Descendants of some of the victims were among several hundred people at Saturday’s dedication on the rolling hills of the southeastern Colorado plains. A mock village of a dozen tepees was set up in a grove of cottonwood trees along the creek that historians believe marks the site of the killings.

After a prayer and a blessing for troops in Iraq, members of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes chanted and played drums.

“It’s a site of shame, but it’s finally being memorialized properly,” said David Halaas, a former state historian.

Richmond Township, Mich.

Woman rescued after 2 days in SUV

A badly hurt woman spent two days inside her partially submerged sport utility vehicle before a passing motorist spotted the wreck in a pond, authorities said.

Jennifer Bova, 21, was airlifted to a hospital Friday after a state trooper found her seriously injured inside the 1991 Chevrolet Suburban.

She was in critical condition Saturday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Police told Bova’s family she suffered bleeding in the brain, a broken femur, and multiple fractures to her pelvis, arm and face.

Joe Bova said his daughter called Wednesday night to say she was headed to her grandmother’s house. On the way, she apparently drove off a road, down an embankment, into a tree and into the water.


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