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Crockett, California — Fuel Storage Facility Explodes, Possibly Caused by Earthquake

Posted on Wednesday, October 16th, 2019 at 8:26 pm by Williams Hart    

On Tuesday, October 15, 2019, a fuel storage facility in Crockett, California exploded, causing a fire and trapping thousands in their homes for hours because of potentially unhealthy air.

According to initial reports, an earthquake struck about 15 miles southeast from the NuStar Energy fuel storage facility in the Bay Area community of Crockett 15 hours before the Tuesday fire that consumed thousands of gallons of fuel. Aftershocks in the same area were still being felt Wednesday, including one with a 3.4 magnitude.

The fire was ongoing for about seven hours, and about 200 firefighters had difficulty trying to battle the blaze. In fact, one firefighter was injured in the process and was brought to the hospital for treatment.

Additionally, a column of thick black smoke could be seen for miles, and so the Contra Costa County public health officials ordered the people in Crockett, neighboring Rodeo and part of Hercules to stay inside with fans and air conditioners off and to seal their windows and doors with tape or wet towels. The concern was that hazardous particulates might be spewing from the fire.

County health officials late Tuesday lifted a shelter in place order affecting about 12,000 people. But at least four schools in the area closed on Wednesday as a precaution.

The fire badly damaged and destroyed two tanks that contained about 250,000 gallons of ethanol, which is a gasoline additive. The facility also stores gasoline, diesel and aviation fuels, according to NuStar Energy LP.

The accident still remains under investigation. As of right now, authorities believe that the earthquake may have caused the explosion in the first place.

It is unfortunate to hear of what happened to the fuel storage facility. Alas, this is not the first time that it happens. 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.

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