The ExxonMobil plant covers 5 square miles of Baytown, Texas and just this evening one of the columns of the plant caught fire, creating a dangerous threat to the employees as well as the surrounding community. According to the ExxonMobil website, this refinery plant has been located in Texas since 1919, and this plant is known to be not only their largest location, but also the largest petroleum and petrochemical complex in the country.
ExxonMobil called in the fire incident to the local police department, and asked them to make sure that there were ambulances on standby. Reports claim that the specific tower that caught fire contains a diesel product and it is believed that it will cause no harm to the environment. The spokesperson for the site didn’t waste any time before making a statement about the incident, which began only an hour ago. Rachel Moore addresses the issue at hand stating that at this time there have been no injuries and the company is making sure that the emergency response team is handling the incident to keep it under control.
Moore also sought to comfort the public by saying that the Industrial Hygiene staff is not only going around their work grounds but also the surrounding community to measure the air quality so as to determine the measures that will need to be taken if the fire is not contained. According to the reports on the fire, it is not a normal fire and the smoke can be seen miles away. A reporter from ABC News addresses the abnormality of this plant fire by stating that when a chemical explosion occurs it is normal that the flames will shoot from the top of the specific tower, and in this case the blast has formed out of the middle of the building.
It is well known that working at any sort of chemical plant is among some of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Particularly in the event when an explosion occurs, lives can be quickly placed at risk resulting in severe injuries and possible deaths. ExxonMobil prides itself in the measures they take for the safety of their employees, and they have in place many different systems to make sure that this happens. Exxon implements an Operations Integrity Management System to ensure that their workplace is not only safe but also healthy for the workers. This system, however, is only evaluated every five years, and because of that many errors and accidents may occur that go unchecked for long periods of time.
Fortunately while no employees were harmed during today’s event, there may still be repercussions of the exposure to the diesel chemicals in the future, whether it be in the nearby community or for the workers themselves. Ensuring the safety of workers is one of the most important aspects of any company, and yet when accidents happen people are placed at risk. At this time investigators are still uncertain what led to this chemical explosion, though the causes could be from a multitude of reasons. Explosions happen many times due to the negligence of a person or entity regarding the procedures for the chemical plant. When small errors are overlooked, in time they can become dangerous hazards, and explosions and fires can be the ending result.
For those who live in the surrounding Texas area, or workers at this chemical plant, if you have received any form of injury or illness as a result of this accident, don’t hesitate to take action. Contact your local and trusted personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Itkin today for the legal representation you deserve!