Beaumont Fire Refinery Kills One: Fire at Exxon Refinery Has Killed One Worker
According to officials with the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, contract worker Dustin Creekmore, who was critically burned when a fire broke out at an ExxonMobil refinery in Beaumont, has died from his burn injuries.
The fire broke out on April 17, in a processing unit at the refinery that was closed at the time for what the company referred to as “routine maintenance.” The workers were apparently doing some welding work on a hydrotreater heat exchanger at the time of the fire, according to a company spokesperson, although it remains unclear that the welding activity was the cause of the fire. While the exact cause has not been determined, officials think it’s possible the fire was caused when hydrocarbons ignited as they were released from the hydrotreater. The hydrotreater is a machine that uses high pressure hydrogen to remove harmful chemicals from fuel, so that the fuel can comply with government environmental regulations.
In all, twelve contract workers for ExxonMobil were injured. Seven of them were transported to Baptist Hospital in Beaumont, where five were treated and released, and two were burned seriously enough to be transferred to the University of Texas Medical Center in Galveston. That’s where Creekmore was listed in critical condition when he was admitted, and later died. Five other injured workers were taken to Christus Hospital-St. Elizabeth, where they were treated and released.
Accidents happen, and the details of this accident are still being investigated. But there are times, especially, when companies find themselves under increasing pressure to do things quickly, and they skip steps that would help keep workers safe. While it’s not certain, it is quite possible the fire and the injuries occurred because the company took shortcuts in protecting its workers.
If you or a loved one have been injured or killed because of a fire at an oil refinery, call the Texas Oil Refinery Injury Lawyer at Hill Law Firm today.