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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 (800) 220-9341 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.


Spring, TX — Refrigeration Technician Loses Leg After Explosion at Randall’s Supermarket

Posted on Friday, July 19th, 2019 at 7:59 am by Williams Hart   

Officials are reporting that a refrigeration technician at a Randall’s supermarket, located on the 2200 block of Buckthorne Place, sustained critical injuries after a commercial refrigeration system exploded on the afternoon of Friday, June 21st.  

The Montgomery County Fire Marshal’s office says Steve Scheaffer, 53,  was performing maintenance on a refrigeration line on the second floor of the North Houston supermarket when it ruptured and the force of the blast blew out his knee. He was taken to a nearby hospital for an emergency surgery to amputate his leg from the knee down. 

Employees of the Randall’s location state that they heard a loud explosion and were quickly evacuated. The building sustained minimal damage itself. 

Commercial refrigeration specialists are exposed to numerous safety hazards, just as in any other industrial profession. 

Technicians must carefully adhere to safety precautions and be aware of the following causes for injury:

  • Interior capacity/overfilling the unit
  • Incorrect unit size 
  • Faulty installation
  • Obstructed fans
  • Lack of leak detection and repair
  • Faulty wiring 

It’s also important to note that no employee other than the technician should ever attempt to repair the unit themselves. Technicians typically keep a maintenance log of the unit and any unknown disruptions could, especially in this case, cause serious injury when performing regular maintenance. 

Occupational injuries and even fatalities caused by commercial refrigeration systems are especially probable when safety precautions are ignored or a non-professional attempts to repair the unit.  Fortunately, there are lawyers who specialize in personal injury cases and can help you get the justice that you or your family 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 (800) 220-9341 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.


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 (800) 220-9341 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.


One injured in Pasadena refinery explosion

Posted on Sunday, March 6th, 2016 at 10:49 am by Williams Hart   

One worker was injured in a refinery explosion that occurred just after 10 am on Saturday, March 5, at Pasadena Refining System, Inc. (PRSI). According to reports, the explosion and subsequent fire occurred while a compressor was starting up. Officials believe that during this process, some hydrogen was released which ignited diesel fuel that was in the unit.

The worker who was injured in the incident suffered a flash burn to the head and was taken to Bayshore Medical Center in Pasadena to receive treatment. While responders worked to put out the fire at the plant, a plume of smoke rose to great enough heights that the Houston Ship Channel had to be shut down temporarily.

This particular plant has a history of environmental violations.


Explosion at water-treatment plant near Midland kills one

Posted on Tuesday, January 5th, 2016 at 8:46 am by Williams Hart   

One person was killed yesterday, January 4, when an explosion occurred at a water-treatment plant near Midland, Tex. According to authorities, Julian Gallardo was working inside the plant, mixing chemicals, when the initial explosion occurred. After the first explosion, residents living near Water Rescue Services reported that a series of smaller blasts took place.

By the time responders arrived at the scene, the entire plant was already engulfed in flames. According to Dale Little, Midland Fire Marshal, it took responders approximately one hour to extinguish the blaze. Little continued that it looked like a chemical reaction sparked the initial blast, but that the explosion would remain under investigation.

No other workers were injured in the explosion and subsequent fire, but the building and all of its contents were destroyed.


Orla gas plant explosion injures two

Posted on Friday, December 4th, 2015 at 9:19 am by Williams Hart   

A major explosion occurred at an Anadarko Petroleum gas plant in Orla, Tex. on Thursday morning. Despite the size and severity of the explosion, only two people were injured, and Chief Deputy Israel Campos of the Reeves County Sheriff’s Office reported that their injuries were non-life threatening.

There were numerous workers at Ramsey Natural Gas Processing Plant when the explosion occurred, and officials are unsure exactly what caused the blast at this time. Investigators will continue to look into the cause of this explosion.

Officials evacuated those living within a 10-mile radius of the plant after the explosion occurred as the fire was contained and the area was secured.

Update 12/8: Authorities report that the fire at the Ramsey Natural Gas Processing Plant is still burning, but that it should be close to being put out.


Explosion at Williams Partners’ facility in LA kills 3, injures 4

Posted on Saturday, October 10th, 2015 at 9:50 am by Williams Hart   

Three people were killed and four others injured on Thursday when an explosion took place at a Williams Partners’ facility in Gibson, Louisiana, approximately 70 miles outside of New Orleans. Although the plant was not fully operational at the time of the explosion, there were several people performing maintenance work on the plant when the explosion took place.

The blast caused a subsequent fire at the plant that burned until 6 pm on Thursday. Of the four individuals injured in the blast, two remain in critical condition. Authorities have yet to determine exactly what caused this explosion and subsequent fire, but will continue to investigate the incident.


Pasadena chemical plant opens less than a week after explosion

Posted on Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 at 5:27 pm by Williams Hart   

A Pasadena chemical plant is raising concerns after announcing it will resume operations less than a week after an explosion that left four workers with serious burns.  The explosion occurred after silane gas was released from a cracked line workers were operating on.  The explosion left one employee so severely burned that he is expected to have to undergo long-term care and treatment. This is not the first time that the company has had safety issues, with a history of leaks and separate 2008 incidents that sent 15 individuals to the hospital.

Many experts are saying that investigating such an incident, as well as exploring why the company has had repeat accidents, should take far longer than a week. Although the company reports that the incident was an isolated event, many are concerned that they have not discovered the root cause of the repeated accidents in such a short period of time.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is still investigating the explosion, but has no authority to shut company operations down. The chemical plant has not fully elaborated on what safety measures they are putting in place to prevent a future accident.


Bainbridge Fertilizer Plant Explosion, One Dead

Posted on Thursday, August 20th, 2015 at 4:06 pm by Williams Hart   

Liquid Transfer Terminals in Bainbridge, Georgia was the site of an explosion on Wednesday morning, August 19, resulting in a fire and massive amounts of black smoke pouring from the plant. Roads around the area were closed until as late as 5 p.m. due to the potential exposure to hazardous chemicals. Neighborhoods close to the plant were evacuated and schools in the area were on lockdown to protect children from exposure.

The explosion reportedly killed one man while he was welding at the top of the plant. The explosion is suspected to have been initiated due to a spark from this welding. Another worker was on his way to relieve the welder from his position when the explosion occurred. The second worker is reportedly uninjured.

The fire was extinguished by 2:30 p.m. on the same day, however, officials kept a diligent watch on the area as smoke continued to flow from the plant as chemicals burned down.


Explosions at Conroe chemical plant cause 3-alarm fire, road closures

Posted on Saturday, August 15th, 2015 at 9:47 am by Williams Hart   

The first of a series of explosions at the DrillChem chemical plant in Conroe, TX, just north of Houston, occurred at 4:40 pm on Friday, August 14th. These explosions resulted in a massive 3-alarm fire at the plant, with safety officials closing nearby roadways and issuing a shelter in place ordinance for those living within a 2-mile radius of the plant.

A hazmat team from The Woodlands, as well as more than 50 firefighters, responded to the blaze and began fighting the fire at around 6 pm, with the fire coming under control around 6:15 pm. Loop 336 was re-opened by 8:30 pm, and the shelter request was lifted last night.

Authorities worried that there could have been individuals inside or near the plant at the time of the explosion. However, representatives of the company state that the last employee left for the day at 4pm.

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