Refinery and Chemical Plant Explosions Update
Although the economic recession brought about by the COVID-19 epidemic has led to nationwide cutbacks at oil refineries and chemical plants, we had previously blogged about several such accidents in recent years. In today’s post the refinery and chemical plant explosion injury lawyer at The Doan Law Firm gives an update on some of the refinery and chemical plant explosions and fires that we commented on in previous posts.
Watson Grinding and Manufacturing / Houston TX
January 24, 2020
In the early morning hours of January 24th an explosion at the Watson Grinding and Manufacturing plant in northern Houston essentially destroyed the facility and caused extensive damage to homes and businesses within a half-mile radius of the blast. Two plant workers were killed and several nearby residents were injured. It was later reported that a spark from a wire with worn insulation ignited a chemical storage tank. Watson later filed for bankruptcy and was reported to be considering abandoning the site.
TPC Group / Port Neches TX
November 27, 2019
The TPC chemical manufacturing plant at Port Neches already had a poor safety and environmental protection record before the facility was heavily damaged in a series of explosions and a fire early in the morning of the day before Thanksgiving of 2019. Although the investigation into the accident is still incomplete, the local TPC Group plant group eventually filed for bankruptcy.
Exxon-Mobile Olefins / Baytown TX
July 31, 2019
The “official” cause of an explosion/fire at the Exxon-Mobile plant in Baytown has yet to be released, but the plant had a long history of environmental pollution and workplace safety violations before the accident that injured one worker and caused a partial shutdown of plant operations.
Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES)
June 21, 2019
Federal investigators determined that an early-morning explosion and fire at the PES facility in a south Philadelphia industrial area was caused by unrecognized corrosion of a section of pipe that had been installed some 46 years earlier. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration found a total of 10 specific violations that led or contributed to the explosion and imposed fines totaling $132,600 on the plant’s owner. PES later closed the plant and filed for bankruptcy.
Husky Energy Refinery / Superior WI
April 26, 2018
Investigators later determined that the explosion and fire at the Husky Energy facility in Superior WI occurred when an asphalt storage tank was damaged while the plant was undergoing a major upgrade. The facility is expected to resume full operations in 2022.
In general, tougher federal and state regulations have led to a decrease in serious oil refinery and chemical plant explosion and/or fire accidents. However, this improved safety record also indicates that when such accidents occur the cause of those accidents is usually traced to poor maintenance of plant equipment or inadequate training of plant employees. In each of the above incidents, investigators have initially found the facility was responsible for the explosion/fire due to either inadequate preventive maintenance of equipment or failure to have adequate emergency procedure guidelines in place.
If you, or a family member, were injured in an oil refinery or chemical plant accident we invite you to contact the oil refinery/chemical plant explosion injury lawyer at The Doan Law Firm to arrange a free review of the facts in your case and a discussion of the legal options that may be available to you.
When you contact the oil refinery and chemical plant explosion injury lawyer at The Doan La Firm, there is never a charge of any kind for us to review the facts in your case ir for you to personally discuss you case with our oil refinery and chemical plant explosion lawyer to review the legal options that may be available to you. Should you later decide that a lawsuit is in your best interest and that you would like for us to represent you in court, we are willing to assume full responsibility for all aspects of preparing your case for trial in exchange for am agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement we are prepared to win for you.