A massive explosion and fire occurred at one of the nation’s largest ExxonMobil refineries in Baytown, Texas, early Thursday morning, sending several workers to a local hospital.

The incident occurred around 1 a.m. local time, according to a statement from ExxonMobil.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said LifeFlight responded to reports of injuries immediately following the explosion.

“For now, no reports to evacuate or shelter-in-place. Four persons may be injured; three taken by Lifeflight and one by ambulance,” Gonzalez later noted.

Local law enforcement later announced four confirmed injuries. Three individuals at the refinery were transported by helicopter. One additional person was taken to a local hospital by ambulance. No deaths were reported in the incident.

As of late Thursday morning, ExxonMobil reported response teams continued to fight against the fire, but that no shelter in place or evacuations have been required. The cause of the incident has not yet been revealed.

The company’s statement said:

A fire has occurred at the Baytown Refinery.  Our fire teams are working to extinguish the fire. We are conducting personnel accounting. 

Our first priority remains the safety of people, including our employees, contractors and the surrounding community. 

 As a precaution, we are beginning to conduct air quality monitoring at the site and fence line. 

We are cooperating with regulatory agencies.

We deeply regret any disruption or inconvenience that this incident may have caused the community.

“The Baytown plant houses a chemical plant, an olefins plant, and the country’s fourth biggest oil refinery, with capacity to process 560,500 barrels per day of crude,” according to a Reuters report.

“The fire occurred in a hydrotreater unit at the oil refinery that was shut on Wednesday due to a bypass line leak, sources familiar with plant operations said, adding that those injured were contractors who had been repairing the leak,” the report added: Local KHOU-TV reported, “ExxonMobil’s Baytown facility sits on around 3,400 acres along the Houston Ship Channel. It has four manufacturing sites. According to the company’s website, there are around 7,000 employees.”

Video footage from the network is available below:

No comments:

Post a Comment