Yesterday, an ethylene purification unit the Formosa Plastics Plant in Point Comfort went up in flames after workers performed maintenance in this section of the 1,600 acre plant. The incident sent 16 workers to the hospital, two in critical condition. A fire squad at the plant extinguished the fire before the local fire department arrived, but the incident still did some damage to the facility. You can read more about this explosion by clicking here.
Research shows that this isn't the first fire that has occurred at the Formosa Plastics plant in Point Comfort, Texas. Back in October of 2005, USA Today reported that 11 workers were injured in a plant explosion at the same Formosa location. The industrial blast happened in the unit of the plant where building blocks of plastics are manufactured. An inspection by the Chemical Safety Board shows that the incident happened when a truck backed into a propylene valve that was not protected. This caused a propylene leak, and the chemical reacted, bursting into a flame in the unit while workers were still inside. Supervisors at the plant say that the fire got larger and larger as more propylene moved into the unit.
There were multiple explosions during the fire, and the entire plant with 1,500 workers was evacuated. An insulation contractor working at the firm told news stations that she started running when she saw the flames, unsure of what would happen. No workers were killed in the explosion, and no chemicals were released into the air. The CSB later wrote a report suggesting that Formosa Plastics heighten their safety and precautionary measures at the plant. Unfortunately, their efforts were not enough to prevent the fire which occurred yesterday. If you were injured in this industrial accident or in another plant or refinery fire, talk to a Houston injury lawyer at Arnold & Itkin LLP today to seek damages!