As the cleanup at the Crosby KMCO plant continues after Tuesday’s deadly explosion, the repercussions of the accidents are just beginning for KMCO. Now, the Houston Chronicle is reporting that more workers are receiving treatment for injuries from the deadly blast. The company added three more workers to a list of the injured on Thursday. We currently do not know the extent of these workers' injuries.
For those familiar with Tuesday’s events, these injuries might not be a surprise. Workers who were just yards away from the explosion described their terrifying escape as nothing short of difficult. As gas escaped from an expanding tank, workers were horrified to find that a locked gate blocked their path to safety; they helped each other by lifting the fence and squeezing their way under it and away from the ensuing explosion.
Litigation Builds Against KMCO
Arnold & Itkin is representing one of two workers initially reported as injured when news broke of the accident. He is suffering from orthopedic injuries and hearing loss because of the blast.
“One minute you’re going about your job and the next minute and you hear a loud noise, and you’re running for your life,” Arnold & Itkin Attorney Jason Itkin said to The Houston Chronicle. “He’s pretty shaken up, which is an understatement.”
KMCO’s litigation problems are not coming only from explosion survivors. Harris County has been involved in a lawsuit with the company since 2013, though the company claims that the plant's worst safety incidents occurred before they took the plant over in 2012. Reports have found significant violations that have occurred since it took over the facility. Harris County sued KMCO once again on Wednesday.
It’s Only a Matter of Time Until Authorities Allow the Plant to Reopen
Currently, the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office is in dispute with the Chemical Safety Board over jurisdiction over the investigation of the Crosby plant. Harris County claims that it needs to eliminate criminal activity as the cause of the explosion before it allows the CSB to investigate the plant. The CSB is an independent federal board that investigates industrial chemical accidents. Its purpose is to identify the root cause of accidents so it can make safety suggestions to companies and regulators according to what they find.
“Chemical plants don’t have a black box like airplanes,” commented CSB Investigator Mark Wingard. “It’s usually a race against time.”
KMCO is stating that their facility is now safe to enter. The plant currently remains closed but some experts remain skeptical if it will stay this way. Bakeyah Nelson from Air Alliance Houston expressed concern about the regulation of the KMCO plant by saying “I think they’re able to be in operation because TCEQ does not enforce when these type of facilities have violations.”
If you or a loved one suffered injuries during the Crosby KMCO plant explosion, call Arnold & Itkin today at (888) 493-1629. We fight for workers and have won billions of dollars for clients.