Goodyear Plant Explosion
Goodyear Plant Blast Kills One, Hospitalizes Six More
HOUSTON, TX – A female employee was found dead hours after an explosion at a Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. plant early Wednesday morning sent six co-workers to local hospitals for treatment and observation.
According to officials, the explosion occurred in a heat exchanger at the synthetic rubber manufacturing plant, allowing ammonia in the unit to leak into the air. No fire was reported after the blast, though over 200 people were evacuated from the area as a precaution. Due to lingering ammonia fumes, however, rescuers were unable to thoroughly search for victims until hours after the initial explosion.
Ammonia, a strong-smelling gas, is commonly used as a refrigerant in industrial manufacturing processes. Despite being both toxic and corrosive, it is only loosely regulated in much of the world. If inhaled, particularly in large quantities, ammonia can cause lung and eye irritation, lung damage, respiratory problems, and death.
In the wake of the blast, which occurred in the vicinity of ten workers, one Goodyear employee and five contract workers were transported to local hospitals to be treated for ammonia inhalation symptoms. Four were released later in the day, though two are still hospitalized for further observation.
The dead employee, who was not identified, was found very near the explosion site.
Fire officials said that the ammonia leak was under control and posed no danger to the surrounding community. Investigations into the cause of the explosion and leak are currently underway.
Houston personal injury law firm Williams Hart has a 25-year history of representing victims who have been injured in industrial plant explosions. For more information, call Williams Hart at (800) 220-9341.