A report on the aftermath of the Anacortes oil refinery explosion and ongoing efforts to hold the company accountable

"The Anacortes Refinery Disaster", 2016
Just after midnight on April 2, 2010, a massive fireball lit up the sky over Anacortes, Washington, after a heat exchanger ruptured at a local oil refinery. Three workers inside the refinery’s unit died instantly—the remaining four died later from their injuries. State and federal investigators concluded that the refinery’s owner, the Tesoro Corporation, had ignored signs of deterioration and other safety hazards that, if dealt with, could have prevented any loss of life—but the company is still refusing to pay out any penalties, insisting it didn’t do anything wrong. In an exclusive investigation produced in collaboration with The Center for Public Integrity, Josh Rushing reports on the aftermath of the Anacortes explosion, and ongoing efforts by Tesoro to avoid any blame.

When people asked me how much of him was burned I'd tell them it's easier for me to tell you what wasn't burned… This accident could've been prevented… I want people to remember what happened. I don't want it to happen again. So if I have to… if I have to tell my story till the day I die, I will.

Shauna Gumbel, mother of operator Matt Gumbel who died of thermal burns after the Anacortes explosion
Awarded Society of Environmental Journalists First Place for Outstanding Explanatory Reporting
Nominated for an Emmy Award in Outstanding Business, Consumer and Economic Report in 2017
Read Tesoro’s full response
Read The Center for Public Integrity's "Get Someone Up Here, We're All Dying"
Mat Skene, executive producer | , editor | Sweta Vohra, producer | Joel Van Haren, directors of photography | Josh Rushing, correspondent