Industrial Accident and Fire in Southeast Houston Left Two People Hospitalized
Posted on Wednesday, January 9th, 2019 at 8:06 pm
An industrial accident and fire in Southeast Houston left two people injured, according to the fire authorities and media reports.
The fire broke out on Saturday, according to the Houston Fire Department’s Twitter statement posted at 12:17 PM. The tweet also stated that the crews were responding to an accident down the 1200 block of Lawndale Street near the LyondellBasell oil refinery.
Media outlet KHOU 11 reported that the two workers were working on a nearby pipeline when the accident happened. One was burned, while the other one was impaled. The victims were airlifted and taken via ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital. The cause of the fire and severity of the victims’ injuries are still under investigation.
Neither HFD nor LyondellBasell can immediately confirm who employed the workers.
Petrochemical and oil refining company LyondellBasell released a statement on Saturday evening stating that the fire did not occur on their property.
The company’s spokeswoman Chevalier Gray said in an email that,
“At approximately 2:50 p.m. today, the staff at our Houston Refinery were informed of an incident involving a crew working near our facility on Lawndale. This was not LyondellBasell staff nor work being carried out on our property.”
“We are deferring any questions to the company performing the maintenance. The incident did not affect the operations of our facility.”
LyondellBasell is one of the largest chemical, plastics, and refining companies in the world that focuses on fuels, chemical, and polymer deliveries. The company is also a leading producer of oxyfuels worldwide and polypropylene in Europe and North America.
Founded in 2007 by Lyondell Chemical Company, their headquarters are found in:
- Houston, Texas, United States
- London, United Kingdom
- Rotterdam, the Netherlands
As of 2016, the refining company is the third largest independent chemical manufacturer in the United States.
A Brief Look in Oil Refinery Accidents
Records from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has shown that over 2,000 people die or suffer injuries on petroleum refining accidents alone.
Oil refineries have become increasingly one of the riskiest industries to work in and one of the common places where severe work injuries occur. In addition, individuals working in oil refineries or near chemical plants have dangerous jobs to companies that are apparently classified somewhere else in the federal system, meaning they don’t track the deaths and injuries the same way as most workplace statistics.
In 2005, fifteen contractors were killed in a Texas City blast where none of their deaths show up in the federal government’s yearly tally. In 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began monitoring at these deaths, but the records show there are still incidents that have been left unnoticed.
In History – Worst Industrial Accidents in the United States
Texas City Blast
Located on Galveston Bay and founded in 1893, Texas City was made up by a group of investors who dug a channel for ships and built a railroad connecting between the bay and two major railways. The area became a leading shipping port and a foundation for refineries and other industries. It also grew during World War II and soon the U.S government build plants to produce ammonium nitrate that is used in explosives. But the dangers of the chemical weren’t still fully understood at that time. This then resulted in one of the deadliest industrial disasters in U.S history.
On April 16, 1947, the French ship SS Grandcamp exploded, causing the deaths of half the Texas City Fire Department firefighters and a thousand buildings were destroyed in the process.
Texas City Refinery Explosion
Another Texas City refinery perished on March 23, 2005, when it caught fire and exploded, resulting in over 100 injuries and 15 fatalities. The BP Texas City Refinery was charged by OSHA for violating environmental and federal laws.
A chemical plant in Woodbine, Georgia was set on fire and later exploded on February 3, 1971, resulting for 80 workers to evacuate the plant. The place was operated by Thiokol Chemical, with 35 buildings on 7,400 acres of land.
The fire occurred on M-132 and started where an ignition chemical was mixed with other chemicals. It spread in the plant’s storage rooms which caused an explosion.