Beaumont Refinery Explosion Injures Workers: At Lease a Dozen Workers Injured
A fire broke out this morning in a unit at a Beaumont, Texas refinery, resulting in injuries to 12 Exxon Mobil contract workers. All twelve injured workers were transported to two Beaumont hospitals for treatment. Seven were taken to Baptist Hospital. Of those seven, two – one in critical condition and one in serious condition – were later taken to University Of Texas Medical Center in Galveston.. The other five were listed in stable condition were expected to be released later in the day. Five other injured workers were taken to Christus Hospital-St. Elizabeth, but their conditions were not immediately known.
The fire erupted at about 10:30 a.m. in a processing unit that was closed for routine maintenance. According to reports from the company, the workers may have been doing some welding work on a hydrotreater heat exchanger at the time of the fire, although it is not clear that the welding activity was the cause of the fire. The hydrotreater uses high pressure hydrogen to remove harmful chemicals from fuel, so as to comply with government environmental regulation
According to Exxon Mobil, the fire was quickly put out by other refinery personnel, before the Beaumont Fire Department arrived on the scene.
The Beaumont refinery is part of a complex that encompasses 2,400-acres and employs about 2000 and about 1,000 contract workers. It includes a refinery, as well as chemical and lube plants. In all, the plant processes 365,000 barrels of crude each day and supplies 2.8 billion gallons of gasoline per year.
Accidents happen. But during the current oil and gas boom, oil companies find themselves under increasing pressure to produce as much fuel as possible as quickly as possible. Though a thorough investigation of this fire has not been completed and details regarding the cause and the response are not yet known, it is possible the fire and the injuries occurred because the company took shortcuts with regard to worker safety.
If you or a loved one have been injured or because of a fire at an oil refinery, call the Oil Refinery Injury Lawyers at Hill Law Firm today.