On Saturday morning, an explosion and fire at the Magellan Midstream Partners Corpus Christi petroleum facility sent seven workers to the hospital. At the time of the incident, officials indicated that at least four of those injured workers were in critical condition. Now, we can confirm that two of the workers have been released from the hospital and five remain hospitalized in stable condition.
All people still receiving treatment are at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. The Brooke Army Medical Center is home to the U.S. Army Institute for Surgical Research Burn Center, a burn center that provides emergency treatment for people suffering from severe injuries in 22 South Texas counties.
What Caused the Magellan Corpus Christi Fire?
Every person injured during Saturday’s explosion and fire were employees of Shelton Services Inc., a company that describes itself as a “leading environmental and industrial services firm” that’s focused on storage tank cleaning, among other services.
Mark Calhoun, manager of terminal and process operations for Magellan in Corpus Christi, confirmed that the fire started in an above-ground storage tank that’s used to store residual white crude oil. The tank was being cleaned and inspected by the workers prior to the explosion.
"We don't really know just yet on what caused the fire, but there will be a thorough internal investigation to discover what happened," Calhoun said. "The safety of our employees and the surrounding community is our top concern and priority."
According to Peter Zanoni, Corpus Christi city manager, the incident didn’t cause any property damage outside of the facility. Currently, officials from Magellan Refineries and Nueces County are investigating the cause of the incident.
What Causes Plant & Refinery Accidents?
At Arnold & Itkin, our Corpus Christi plant and refinery accident lawyers know that it takes a chain of events to cause serious accidents such as this because we've seen them happen too often. Though every accident we've helped people recover from is different, they almost always have one thing in common: negligence.
Relaxed safety standards, a lack of supervision, and corner-cutting meant to increase profits often place workers at risk. As officials work to determine the cause of this incident, we hope that their findings help Magellan and Shelton Services make any needed changes to protect their workers from more dangerous situations.