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Port Neches — 3 Workers Injured, Several Homes Damaged After Plant Explosion

Posted on Wednesday, November 27th, 2019 at 8:20 pm by Williams Hart   

Three workers were injured and several homes were damaged after a plant explosion occurred in Port Neches, Texas during the early hours of Wednesday, November 27, 2019.

According to initial reports, a blast occurred just after 1 a.m. at the TPC Group refinery, and it ignited the blaze, which moved rapidly throughout the plant. The fire was still raging in the afternoon, with an explosion heard at about 2 p.m. The explosion blew out windows on homes several miles away.

Neighbors within a half-mile of the plant were evacuated following the initial explosion, but after the afternoon explosion, the entire populations of Port Neches and the neighboring city of Groves were ordered to evacuate.

Three workers at the site were injured. One of them was airlifted to Houston with serious burns while the second worker was treated for a broken arm and the third had unspecified injuries.

All three injured workers had been treated and released.

The accident still remains under investigation.

It is unfortunate to hear about the explosion in Port Neches. Alas, this is not the first time that an industrial fire accident occurred. Fire accidents like this are alarmingly common in the United States. Statistics show that in 2017, there were about 1,319,500 fire accidents that occurred in the country, and from that number, 3,400 people died and 14,670 were injured. It has also been noted that in terms of gender, more men die and get injured in fires than women, while in terms of race, African American males and American Indian males have the highest death rates per million population.

Moreover, in 2016, there were three states that had the most number of fire deaths, and these states were California, Texas, and Georgia.

Some of the common causes of fire for both residential buildings and non-residential buildings are cooking, unintentional/careless, intentional, and electric malfunction.

Fires in industrial or manufacturing properties are common occurrences in the United States as well. In fact, between 2011 and 2015, municipal fire departments in the U.S. reported that an estimated average of 37,910 fires at industrial or manufacturing properties happens each year, with annual losses from these fires estimated at 16 civilian deaths, 273 civilian injuries, and $1.2 billion in direct property damage. Furthermore, structure fires accounted for 20% of the fires, 49% of civilian deaths, 80% of civilian injuries, and 67% of direct property damage.

Electrical distribution and lighting equipment is said to be the leading cause of structure fires in industrial properties, accounting for about 24% of the total. Meanwhile, heating is the leading cause of structure fires in manufacturing, accounting for 15% of the total.

Fires, especially in industrial or manufacturing properties, can be incredibly appalling in all aspects for the victims and their respective families. Thankfully, there are lawyers out there who specialize in accidents like this. So, if you are a victim of a fire accident, or you know someone who is, or you lost a loved one because of this, then please never hesitate to ask for help. Fire accident lawyers will be more than willing to help you in protecting your rights and in getting you the justice that you deserve.

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.


3 Injured In Massive Explosion at Texas Chemical Plant

Posted on Wednesday, November 27th, 2019 at 9:22 am by Williams Hart   

PORT NECHES, TX — Officials are reporting that around 1AM on Wednesday, November 27th, an explosion rocked the TPC Group Plant, a chemical manufacturing plant located about 90 miles east of Houston. The explosion caused extensive damage throughout the city, and a resulting fire continues to burn at the site.  

Three employees were injured and transported to the Medical Center and Memorial Hermann in Houston for treatment. Fortunately, no one was killed and all other personnel have been evacuated and accounted for. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families. We wish a speedy recovery to all who sustained injuries.

TPC Group has activated its Emergency Response Plan and the incident was immediately reported to the appropriate local, state, and federal authorities. 

As of 7AM, safety responders are still working to control the fire. 

While the cause of the explosion remains unknown, a full and thorough investigation is underway. Air monitoring is being conducted along the fence line of the facility and in surrounding neighborhoods. 

Local police are also going door-to-door in surrounding neighborhoods to check for injuries after a secondary explosion caused extensive damage to nearby homes. A mandatory evacuation was issued for homes and businesses within a half-mile of the facility, and a shelter-in-place was ordered for the entire city. 

 

Several residents report feeling their windows shake, and some were able to capture images the moment the fiery blast occurred.

 


While the oil and natural gas industries in Texas provide workers with steady and well-paying employment, there is significant risk involved in the day-to-day working conditions of oil rigs, refineries, and chemical plants. The injuries sustained at sites like TPC Group can have devastating consequences for workers and their families. In addition to immediate physical and emotional suffering of these injuries, victims may further experience prolonged financial damages associated with the recovery process, such as medical expenses and lost wages.

You deserve the precautions and care needed to provide a safe workplace. If these precautions fail or are not properly set in place, workers get injured. Whether your injuries were caused by an equipment malfunction, a process error or any other type of event, you need to be taken care of. Williams Hart recognizes your dedicated service to your company and we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

How We Can Help

By hiring an experienced lawyer at Williams Hart, you can rest assured that you have a firm on your side that understands the specifics of the law when it comes to explosion injuries. In addition, we understand the causes of such injuries, which often occur due to the following factors:

  • Inclement weather
  • Long shifts
  • Heavy machinery
  • Equipment failure
  • Failure to follow safety protocols
  • Negligent behavior
  • Poor communication

With the right team on your side, you can focus on what is most important following a serious accident: recovering from your injuries. 

To discuss the particulars of your injury with one of our personal injury lawyers, please call our Houston offices at (713) 352-7071 today.


Breaking News: ExxonMobil Petrochemical Plant Explosion & Fire in Baytown, Texas Injures Workers

Posted on Wednesday, July 31st, 2019 at 12:48 pm by Williams Hart   

Williams Hart Personal Injury Accident Lawyers are ready to help file your Workplace Burn Injury Claim.

Update: 37 Workers Burned in Accident, 66 Total Medically Evaluated

 

Emergency crews are responding to a fire at the ExxonMobil Baytown Complex at 3525 Decker Drive. Currently, a shelter-in-place has been issued for areas in Baytown west of the petrochemical and refinery complex and south of Spur 330. This facility lies on the east side of Houston in the heart of the Texas chemical industry.

“ExxonMobil reported that 66 employees/contractors have gone to the Houston Area Safety Council, for medical evaluation.”  

A spokesperson for ExxonMobil stated that “37 people sustained non-life threatening injuries”. 

Local news is reporting that workers employed on site did sustain burn injuries from the fire.

Live, local video images from television stations show flames shooting several stories into the sky from pipes inside the plant, and many residents reported that their house and windows shook from the initial explosion.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is en route to the scene.

Harris County has begun monitoring Environmental Air Quality and you can see their interactive map here.

The cause of the fire has not yet been confirmed. Initial reports indicate that the Chemical Plant processed polypropylene, a thermoplastic which are highly flammable and pose a serious risk to the health and safety of employees at the facility in the event of ignition. 

The shelter-in-place has impacted several schools in the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District, according to the Houston Chronicle. Those schools include:

  • San Jacinto Elementary
  • Travis Elementary
  • Baytown Junior High
  • Robert E. Lee High School
  • Goose Creek Service Center,
  • Peter E. Hyland
  • IMPACT ECHS

 Families have been advised not to try to pick up their students.

 

 

The City of Baytown has stated that the fire is in a unit that contains propylene, which is an extremely flammable gas. This material is easily ignited by heat, sparks or flames and can quickly lead to an explosion.

When it comes to hazardous chemical exposure, propylene vapors can cause dizziness or asphyxiation without warning. Such contact with this form of gas can also lead to burns and other severe injuries.

Exxon Mobil crews are battling the fire, according to the most recent reports, but the city’s fire department is on standby to assist, according to Natalie Barrett, the spokesperson for the city of Baytown.

ExxonMobil released the following statement about the fire: 

A fire has occurred at the Baytown Olefins Plant. Our fire teams are working to extinguish the fire. We are conducting personnel accounting. Our first priority remains the safety of people, including our employees, contractors and the surrounding community. As a precaution, our Industrial Hygiene staff is conducting air quality monitoring at the site and fence line. We are cooperating with regulatory agencies. We deeply regret any disruption or inconvenience that this incident may have caused the community.

According to the Houston Business Journal Exxon Mobil Chemical Co. is the “Third Largest Houston-area Petrochemical & Chemical Company” with net sales of $28.69 Billion USD.

Founded 100 years ago in 1919, the Baytown complex is one of the largest ethylene plants in the world, boasting nearly 584,000 barrels of crude oil produced a day. It is also the second ExxonMobil location at which an explosion has occurred in the Houston area within the last few months.

The energy production workforce is no stranger to deadly explosions, with more than two dozen oil refinery disasters occurring in the last 50 years. For more info about Refinery Plant Safety you can get more info from Energy API here , and OSHA.gov here .

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

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

We are carefully following this story along with everyone in the community, and we will continue providing updates as they become available. You can also follow this developing story online at the Houston Chronicle’s website, KHOU online, and others.

Williams Hart has a long history of representing individuals injured in plant explosions such as the ones in Geismar, LA and Texas City. In situations like these, it is best to turn to an experienced firm to help you understand all of your options. If you have been seriously burned or injured, our Chemical Plant Fire Attorneys are ready to help you in the aftermath of this Baytown ExxonMobil Chemical Fire and Explosion.

For additional information about about your legal representation options after a disaster like this please visit:


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.

Williams Hart Lawyers would like to fight for you to get the Maximum Compensation that you deserve after suffering your burn injury.


Houston — Damaged Storage Facility Contaminates Houston Channel, Creates Cloud of Cancer-Causing Chemical

Posted on Monday, March 25th, 2019 at 1:35 am by Williams Hart   

A fire that broke out at the Intercontinental Terminal Co. (ITC) facility in Deer Park, Texas about a week ago has proven to be potentially more dangerous than initially thought. This is because on the one hand, it has created a large plume of black smoke that contains the cancer-causing chemical benzene and this smoke not only hangs over the city but it has also started to drift off over the eastern parts of Harris County, even reaching out as far as Austin and San Antonio. And for another, it has also caused oil byproducts to leak into the Houston Ship Channel after a dike wall collapsed because of a new fire that reignited in the facility last Friday, March 22, 2019.

As a result to these recent developments, the ship channel is closed for the meantime. Captain Kevin Oditt with the U.S. Coast Guard said that they deployed a total of 8,500 feet of boom, hoping to trap as much of the chemical waste that entered the water as possible. Unfortunately, even with these efforts, some of the waste still did make it to the ship channel’s waters, and so far, nine toxins were detected, most particularly benzene — a colorless, flammable liquid with a sweet odor that is also a known carcinogen. Other chemicals detected were total xylenes, pyrene, anthracene, ethylbenzene, toluene, phenanthrene, fluoranthene, and 2-methylnaphthalene.

On Friday, ITC reported that there were still about 60,000 barrels (2.52 million gallons) of hazardous chemicals in the damaged section of the complex, and by Saturday morning, they no longer knew how much remained.

Ever since the fire broke out and the air has been contaminated with several chemicals, about 1,000 people have sought treatment at a pop-up clinic because of nausea, headaches, and other symptoms, with 15 of the most severe cases brought to hospital emergency rooms. With this, the Texas National Guard has dispatched troops to assist local authorities with air monitoring, thus prompting take-shelter alerts and road closures.

This chemical plant fire is now being considered as the worst industrial disaster since the March 2005 explosion at BP Plc’s Texas City refinery that killed 15 people.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board will be investigating the blaze. Meanwhile, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is planning to file a lawsuit against ITC, accusing the latter of violating clean-air laws.

It is unfortunate to hear of this chemical plant fire and the consequences that residents are experiencing because of this. Alas, fires in industrial or manufacturing properties are common occurrences in the United States. In fact, between 2011 and 2015, municipal fire departments in the U.S. reported that an estimated average of 37,910 fires at industrial or manufacturing properties happen each year, with annual losses from these fires estimated at 16 civilian deaths, 273 civilian injuries, and $1.2 billion in direct property damage. Furthermore, structure fires accounted for 20% of the fires, 49% of civilian deaths, 80% of civilian injuries, and 67% of direct property damage.

Additionally, oil spills are incredibly dangerous as well. Oil spills caused by damaged tankers, pipelines, or offshore oil rigs almost always result in immediate and long-term environmental damage that can last for decades. This is because they coat everything they touch and become long-term but unwelcome parts of every ecosystem they enter. As a result, they can have damaging consequences to the marine life in particular, killing or contaminating fish and smaller organisms. Oil spills can indirectly affect humans too, especially if they consume contaminated organisms or have some contact with contaminated water or sand (in the case of beaches).

Industrial fires and oil spills can be as complicated as they are damaging to the victims. Thankfully, there are lawyers who are experts in cases like this. That is why, if you think you are a victim of an effect of an oil spill/chemical plant fire, or you know someone who is, or you lost a loved one because of this, then please never hesitate in asking help from these lawyers. They will help you in protecting your rights and in getting you the justice that you deserve.

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.


Deer Park — 6 Tanks Burn at Intercontinental Terminal Co. Facility

Posted on Monday, March 18th, 2019 at 9:59 pm by Williams Hart   

A massive fire broke out at a chemical plant in Deer Park, Texas on Sunday, March 17, 2019, and it is still burning more than 24 hours after it started.

According to police reports, the fire started at around 10:30 a.m. in the Intercontinental Terminal Co. facility with two tanks, and the fire spread to an additional five tanks by Monday morning. Officials reported on Monday afternoon that the number of tanks burning was down to six, and three of those are starting to settle down.

No one has been reported to be injured in this accident. However, the air has been rigidly monitored considering that the tanks that are on fire contain toluene, naphtha, and xylene which means that low levels of particulate matter have been detected in the air. Exposure to these chemicals may trigger some symptoms to the civilians, such as coughing, difficulty in breathing, burning, irritation, and redness in the eyes, nose, and throat. Some people may also experience headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Civilians nearby are advised to be careful.

The fire still has not been completely extinguished, and an official said that it could take as long as two days before the fire is totally out.

It is unfortunate to hear of what happened to the facility in this accident. Alas, this is not an uncommon scenario in the United States. Fires in industrial or manufacturing properties are common occurrences in the country. In fact, between 2011 and 2015, municipal fire departments in the U.S. reported that an estimated average of 37,910 fires at industrial or manufacturing properties happen each year, with annual losses from these fires estimated at 16 civilian deaths, 273 civilian injuries, and $1.2 billion in direct property damage. Furthermore, structure fires accounted for 20% of the fires, 49% of civilian deaths, 80% of civilian injuries, and 67% of direct property damage.

Electrical distribution and lighting equipment is said to be the leading cause of structure fires in industrial properties, accounting for about 24% of the total. Meanwhile, heating is the leading cause of structure fires in manufacturing, accounting for 15% of the total.

Fires, especially in industrial or manufacturing properties, can be incredibly appalling in all aspects for the victims and their respective families. Thankfully, there are lawyers out there who specialize in accidents like this. So, if you are a victim of a fire accident, or you know someone who is, or you lost a loved one because of this, then please never hesitate to ask for help. Fire accident lawyers will be more than willing to help you in protecting your rights and in getting you the justice that you deserve.

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.


Natural gas plant workers evacuated after fire

Posted on Friday, September 4th, 2015 at 12:21 pm by Williams Hart   

The Targa North Texas gas processing plant located about 40 miles west of Denton in Wise County caught fire yesterday morning at around 2:15 a.m. The Wise County Fire Marshal stated that three compressors and one other structure caught fire, but an official release from Targa explained that the plant itself was not caught up in the blaze. The release went on to say that the plant “was immediately shut down per our emergency procedures and all employees were safely evacuated.” No injuries were reported.

As the fire was still burning at 11:00 a.m., officials made the decision to let it burn itself out before allowing anyone to enter. When asked about this decision, Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard cited a lack of resources for taking on such a significant fire. Beard explained that the fire was too large to fight safely, and, after an explosion blew the roof off of the building in which the fire started, the structure would be deemed a total loss.

In addition to the employees at the facility, residents of ten homes within a mile and a half of the facility were evacuated. Officials stated that this was a precautionary measure, and the residents were allowed back into their homes at 8:30 a.m.

While the plant remains closed, Targa officials believe the fire will only affect operations for a few days. They hope to at least partially reopen Thursday afternoon.

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