Crosby KMCO Chemical Plant Explosion Lawyers
Texas Chemical Plant Explodes, Leaving 1 Dead & At Least 2 Injured
On Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at around 10:45 a.m., a KMCO chemical plant exploded in Crosby, Texas, roughly 25 miles northeast of Houston. According to the early reports, the explosion and subsequent fire occurred when a transfer line ignited a tank holding flammable chemicals. A nearby roadway was shut down in the aftermath and residents within a one-mile radius were told to shelter in place. It took more than five hours to fully contain the fire. Authorities confirmed that one individual was killed and two were severely injured in the blast. Residents near the plant reported feeling their homes shake because of the power of the explosion.
KMCO: A History of Violations in Houston
This was the second significant chemical plant explosion in the Houston area within less than three weeks. What's more, KMCO, LLC has a recent history of environmental violations and safety issues. In 2011, an explosion at the plant injured two employees. Then, in 2016, The Houston Chronicle investigated KMCO. This investigation revealed that Harris County sued KMCO in 2008 for releasing toxins into the air that caused headaches and other symptoms for nearby residents. To settle the case, KMCO paid $100,000 in civil penalties. In addition to this civil penalty, the lawsuit required KMCO to remain accessible to investigators because of repeated violations.
KMCO bought the plant in 2012, so it claimed that it was not responsible for these violations. Yet, KMCO was criminally convicted of knowingly violating the Clean Air Act in 2016. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency ordered the company to pay $3.5 million in criminal fines. In 2016, residents near the plant complained to Harris County officials about black sludge collecting in the creek. Records reveal that the investigator of this substance developed an orange-sized knot at the base of her neck and suffered from headaches. Harris County sued KMCO in 2017 in response to this series of events.