On Wednesday, a little after 12:00 a.m., a tragic accident occurred at
the Exxon Mobil plant in Beaumont, Texas. Several contract workers from
AltairStrickland—a company that specializes in refinery plan overhauls—were
replacing a heat exchanger on an elevated platform at a unit that was
under maintenance. These workers were still on the platform when sections
of pipe broke off and crashed onto one of the workers.
Initial investigations indicate that the man was likely crushed between
two pieces of pipe. Emergency crews arrived at the scene around 12:30
a.m., but he died on the platform before he could be given further treatment
or taken to the hospital.
According to one of the contract workers for AltairStrickland, three men
were performing rigging on a unit when something suddenly happened. From
his perspective, all he remembers is one of the workers being hit in the
head by a piece of metal, killing him at the scene. The witness also reported
that the contract workers in his group were sent home, but the plant remained
opened as other employees continued their duties.
ExxonMobil Speaks Out About Deadly Accident
ExxonMobil had shut the unit down on April 22 for some tune-ups and a revamp.
The work was slated to be finished by June 30. The company has provided
a statement saying, “We are greatly saddened by this and express
our deepest sympathy to his family and co-workers.”
ExxonMobil has also made it clear that they reported the incident to the
appropriate authorities and have already begun an investigation into the
accident to determine what caused the accident.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has also begun an investigation
into the fatal workplace accident. The Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) is expected to begin their own investigation shortly as well.