Just one day following a Chevron pipeline incident, a Chevron refinery exploded early this Friday morning. The Pascagoula processing unit fire and explosion sadly has resulted in the death of one victim and the injury of another. According to authorities, the explosion occurred in the Cracking II Processing Unit early this morning at 2 a.m.
Chevron spokesperson Allen Sudduth stated in this morning's press conference that "there was a sudden detonation and fire" in the area. The room's purpose was for the breaking down of hydrocarbons in order to produce fuel and chemicals from the crude oil. Investigations show that the furnace was damaged in the Cracking II unit.
The Community is Safe, Though One Life Was Lost
Emergency responders claim that the scene has been controlled and that the community is not in any danger from the fire or explosion. Sadly, one employee was not as fortunate in the incident, having lost their life as a result of the event. Another individual was hurt from the accident, although they were treated at the scene and released to go home.
No further information will be released about the exact details of the employee's death until the family members are notified. According to the Jackson County Emergency Services Director Earl Etheridge, their fire department came to assist the Chevron fire teams in order to handle the incident as quickly as possible. By closely following their emergency plan, fire crews contained the many small fires from the incident in good time.
Explosion on the Eve of the Refinery's 50th Anniversary
Pascagoula's refinery explosion occurred on the eve of their celebrating 50 years of existence, an event in which they planned to have a number of people in house for an open-house. Had the incident occurred just one day later, a large number of employees and their families as well as retirees and people from the community would have had their lives placed in great danger. They had an estimated 4,000 guest that were expected to be in attendance. Due to the accident, however, the refinery is far from the mood of celebration. They are mourning the loss of an employee and taking necessary steps to determine the root cause of the accident.
At Arnold & Itkin, our hearts go out to those affected by this recent tragedy, and we pray for as quick of a recovery as possible.