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UPDATE: 2 People Killed, Several Homes Damaged after Massive Explosion in Northwest Houston

Posted on Friday, January 24th, 2020 at 9:33 am by Williams Hart   


UPDATE: The explosion left 2 people dead, whose identities have not been released.

Authorities are reporting that around 4:20AM Friday, January 24th, a massive explosion occurred at Watson Valve Services at 4525 Gessner Road, a service provider to energy related, power utility, pipeline, chemical, fertilizer, and mining industries. No OSHA violations were found during the business’s most recent inspection in 2015.


The business is located about half a mile away from homes on Rockcrest Road and Stanford Court. Nearly every house in the area sustained extensive damage, including blown-out windows and collapsed roofs.

An area resident woke up to the roof falling on her. “The whole house is ruined…the whole ceiling crashed down on all of us. We were all trapped in there and a nice family came and helped us out. It’s trashed. It’s just trashed.”

Officials stated that one person was transported to a hospital and an employee is unaccounted for. The employee’s family is on the scene, however crews must work to contain a polypropylene leak from the explosion and assess the damage before they can focus on searching for the missing person. 

Polypropylene is a high-performance, lightweight durable plastic used in automotive, appliance and packaging and labeling. Houston Police Chief Art Avecedo expects the gas to dissipate quickly, however he urges people to avoid the area for now. Short-term exposure in high concentration to polypropylene will decrease your oxygen and can lead to headaches, dizziness, vomiting, nausea, lightheadedness and fainting.



Our thoughts are with all who were affected by the blast. We wish a speedy recovery to those who were injured and suffered damages to their homes. 

Workplace explosions are an unfortunate possibility for workers in many industries. Plant, refinery, oilfield, oil rig, and pipeline workers are especially vulnerable to accidental explosions in their very dangerous work environments. It is the responsibility of site managers and supervisors to make every effort to prevent these accidents from happening, but unfortunately, explosions do occur and workers may suffer serious, catastrophic injuries or even death as a result.

If you have been hurt in an explosion or if your home has been damaged, you do not have to deal with the aftermath alone. Mounting medical bills, lost wages, and costly home repairs are often too difficult for people to deal with while they should be recovering following a serious accident. That’s why you should call Williams Hart immediately following a serious accident to make sure that you have a compassionate, experienced Houston explosion accident attorney on your side to help you protect your livelihood and the well-being of your family. 

Fill out a contact form or call us at (713) 352-7071 to schedule a free consultation today.

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Philadelphia Refinery Fire: Another Threat to Energy Production Workforce

Posted on Thursday, July 18th, 2019 at 1:33 pm by Williams Hart   

A massive fire broke out at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery at 3100 Passyunk Avenue shortly after 4:00 AM on Friday morning, reports say. Followed by a series of explosions, the eruption could be felt as far as South New Jersey.

The incident took place just two weeks after another small fire broke out at the same refinery, officials say. The complex is the largest on the eastern seaboard, employing more than 1,000 people and refining more than 355,000 barrels of crude oil a day.

Top Philadelphia fire officials stated that a vat of butane had ignited and eventually exploded. The fire worked its way along a maze of pipes carrying fuel across the complex. Large pieces of debris were scattered across the surrounding areas, destroying traffic lights and pelting the roadways. 

Fortunately, employees who were on the site when the explosion occurred were far enough away to escape without harm. Four refinery staff members sustained minor injuries and were treated at the scene. 

While the explosion did not result in any serious injuries or fatalities, this does not rule out the possibility of long term health hazards. Industry experts say individuals in the surrounding areas could be exposed to long term respiratory or vision issues. 

The energy production workforce is no stranger to deadly explosions, with more than two dozen oil refinery disasters occurring in the last 50 years.

Occupational injuries and fatalities in the oil and gas production industry are typically caused by the following: 

  • Human error/poorly trained staff
  • Improperly maintained equipment
  • Improperly stored end-products
  • Improperly maintained complex facilities

Fortunately, there are lawyers who specialize in oil and natural gas injury cases and can help you get the justice that you or your family deserve. 

If you or someone you love is seriously hurt or fatally injured on duty or in the surrounding area of an oil refinery, you may be unsure of where to turn. The Houston attorneys of Williams Hart have experience assisting families dealing with the aftermath of a work-related injury or fatality. Please do not hesitate to contact our law firm at (888) 220-0640 to speak with an experienced lawyer today.

If someone you love was seriously hurt or killed in an accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The attorneys of Williams Hart have experience helping people through the aftermath of catastrophic accidents, and we can help you too. Contact our law firm at (713) 352-7071 to speak with an experienced lawyer today.

Note: We report on the types of accidents and injuries our law firm has experience handling. Our hearts go out to victims of the accidents described on this blog, and we hope that future accidents, injuries, and deaths can be prevented. These posts are gathered from recent stories in the news. As new developments occur, these stories are often updated. If information contained within this article is false or outdated, please contact us so we can include the new information or make a correction.

Disclaimer: Williams Hart hopes that by showing how often catastrophic accidents occur, we can begin a conversation about how to reduce or prevent them. We sincerely hope that the articles on our blog arm readers with the information needed to avoid being involved in such accidents. Content on this blog should not be construed as legal advice.

Pipeline Explosion Prompts Investigation by Texas Railroad Commission

Posted on Friday, December 7th, 2012 at 9:35 am by Williams Hart   

A large gas pipeline explosion occurred this past Wednesday night, around 6 p.m., in Ector County, near Midland-Odessa. The explosion occurred near the DCP Midstream natural gas plant, and as of now, the cause of the blast is unknown.

To try and see what caused this explosion, the Texas Railroad Commission is sending an inspector from the commission’s Pipeline Safety Division to investigate. Thankfully, no one was injured or killed in the explosion, as workers near the site of the blast were able to run to safety in time. However, the explosion resulted in a fire that destroyed a welding shop and a blast that was heard by residents miles away.

The affected pipeline was owned by West Texas Gas, and the Texas Railroad Commission says that they’ll conclude their investigation into this explosion in 90 days, at which time they’ll release their findings.


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