Around 2 am Monday morning, Marathon Petroleum workers were conducting
scheduled maintenance at their Galveston Bay refinery on a unit that was
shut down. At about 2:45 am, the unit caught on fire, badly injuring a
contract employee and causing minor injuries to two other workers.
The severely injured employee had to be airlifted to a burn center. Reportedly,
the worker was burned in the neck, face, arms, chest, and head. While
the company released a statement, there is not yet a clear reason why
the unit caught fire. Fortunately, the other two workers required little
If you’re wondering why this story sounds familiar, it’s because
this refinery was the site of another industrial accident in 2005. The
refinery explosion of Texas City resulted in 15 deaths and over 170 injuries,
making it one of the worst industrial explosions in recent history. At
the time, the refinery was owned by British Petroleum, commonly known as BP.
Marathon Petroleum bought the Galveston Bay refinery only three years ago
from BP. They are currently planning on combining their Galveston facilities
with another nearby refinery, which would bring its total daily capacity
to 585,000 barrels—the second-highest volume in the nation.
Arnold & Itkin hopes for the speedy and total recovery of the injured
workers, especially the contract employee with the severe burns. We also
hope that Texas City, infamous for its industrial explosions in 2005 and
1947, no longer becomes the site where workers are killed or injured.