On Tuesday, April 2nd, a deadly explosion occurred at the KMCO plant in Crosby at around 10:45 a.m.
One man was killed and two others were seriously injured after a transfer line ignited a tank full of the chemical isobutylene. The Harris County Fire Marshal’s office revealed that it took more than 5 hours to contain the fire.
Nearby Kingwood and Deer Park residents claimed to have felt the rattle of the explosion in their homes. Schools near the explosion had students shelter-in-place while firefighters attempted to control the blaze.
A 27-year-old man lost his life in the explosion. The two other individuals that were caught in the explosion remain in critical condition.
Over 26 agencies have made their way to the site to try and uncover exactly what caused the situation.
Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, has petitioned against KMCO for violating the Texas Clean Air Act. The KMCO company had to pay $3.3 million for criminal fines for violating the Clean Air Act in 2016. As of 1995, the company had been fined 10 times by the Texas Commissions of Environmental Quality.
This is the third chemical plant fire in just 17 days in the Houston area.
Commissioner Garcia of Harris County reveals that although he recognizes that the plants add value to the local economy, he is still pursuing the help of the Environmental Protection Agency to implement stricter regulations for chemical companies in Harris County for the safety of those living and working in the area.
What Causes a Plant Explosion to Occur?
Explosions, accidents, and injuries at chemical plants can be the result of numerous factors. These types of jobs are inherently dangerous as workers are often exposed to flammable chemicals, heavy machinery, and tough work conditions.
Although environmental factors can have some degree of impact, catastrophic explosions and accidents often occur due to human negligence. Plant owners and supervisors are often liable for their failure to maintain standards of safety.
Some of the most common causes of plant explosions include:
- Inadequate machinery maintenance
- Equipment malfunction
- Corrosion of transfer lines that goes undetected or unaddressed
- Prohibited smoking of cigarettes or use of fire occurs
- Dirty or impure chemicals get used or mixed
- Employees lack proper training
- Failure to ensure employees meet federal workplace safety regulations
It is the duty of individuals in charge to ensure that OSHA safety regulations are maintained, equipment and machinery is kept up to standard, and all employees are adequately trained. Chemical plant accidents can be fatal when safety procedures and regulations are not maintained – as is the case in this particular instance.
If you or a loved one have suffered from a chemical plant explosion, contact the Houston personal injury attorneys at Lapeze & Johns to seek compensation for your injuries.
Injuries Caused By Chemical Plant Explosions
Accidents involving machinery, equipment, and chemicals can result in the following injuries:
- Serious burns (first degree to third degree)
- Inner ear damage from the explosion
- Punctured retinas
- Wounds from flying debris
- Impact injury
- Loss of limbs
- Lung damage and poisoning
Injuries can occur from an explosion, fiery encounter, machinery malfunctioning, or flying debris after a blast. Chemical plants contain reactants and even a small flame can gather strength quickly.
Different accidents can alter the type and severity of injuries sustained. The injuries can range from temporary to permanent, and in the worst cases, death can occur.
Individuals may also suffer emotional after-effects such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious personal injury – or loss of life – as a result of a work accident or explosion, seek medical care immediately. Then consult the knowledgeable Texas plant explosion attorneys of Lapeze & Johns.
You are not alone. Contact the Houston personal injury attorneys of Lapeze & Johns right now at 713-766-0075 for a free consultation.