Just after noon on Tuesday this week, three gas plant workers were conducting
repairs on a pipeline just outside the Southcross Energy facility in Bonnie
View. To work on the pipeline, located just a few miles outside Woodsboro,
the three men dug a hole around the pipe large enough for them to do repairs.
Two of the workers, a San Diego resident (30) and a Woodsboro resident
(54), were in the pit when a piece of the pipe came loose, subjecting
the two men to 800 lbs. of pressure and ejecting them from the hole. The
54-year-old was sadly declared dead at the scene—the 30-year-old
San Diego man succumbed to his injuries at Refugio County Memorial Hospital.
The third worker is currently at Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital for
Initial investigations indicate that the explosion was caused by a failed
piece of equipment that the men were using. While no fire or gas was released,
the pressure alone was enough to cause significant damage to the workers
and the area around the pipeline. While the reason for the failure is
not yet clear, all regulatory agencies with jurisdiction have been notified.
This is not the first incident involving Southcross Energy this year—it’s
not even the first incident at this plant in the last 12 months. This
is the second incident at the Woodsboro gas processing plant to cause
workers injury. In 2015, a fire caused 2 workers to be treated for burns.
Even more recently, in February 2016, a Southcross Energy plant in Frio
County exploded, injuring two more workers.
While these are unrelated incidents, two explosions and a fire are not
indicative of a robust safety program for Southcross Energy. As a firm,
our hearts go out to the families of the three workers, and we genuinely
hope for the quick and total recovery of the injured worker at Spohn Memorial.