Many individuals who have visited ExxonMobil’s Baytown refinery are not surprised to learn that the Baytown refinery is actually the second largest crude oil refinery in the United States. With a capacity of 584,000 barrels of oil per day, the amount of activity that occurs at the Baytown Refinery is staggering. Because a large number of workers at the Baytown refinery handle a variety of deadly chemicals each year, there is a significant risk of serious accidents occurring at the plant’s refinery.
The History of Baytown Refinery
Located in Baytown, Texas next to the Houston Ship Channel, the Baytown refinery first opened in 1919 under the initial ownership of the Humble Oil Company. The refinery now consists of 2,400 acres and 850 union employees. Exxonmobil’s refinery has turned Baytown into a center for petrochemical refining. As jobs and industry activity increase in the Houston Ship Channel area, there will likely only be more pollution.
Damages by Fires at Baytown Refinery
In October of 2012, a fire occurred at the Baytown refinery. The fire broke out at the refinery’s diesel hydrotreating unit, which uses hydrogen to remove sulfur from motor fuel. Fortunately, the fire was contained before no one was even killed. The exact cause of the fire was determined to have been a hole in the reactor.Although no one was hurt due to this fire, there is a great risk of individuals being severely injured or even killed because the number of hazardous chemicals at a refinery site like Baytown can easily lead to explosions or large fires.
Injuries and Deaths Caused By Leaky Pipes
Several accidents have occurred at the Baytown Refinery since the location has opened due to leaky pipes. Some examples of various causes of fatalities at the refinery include the following:
Heather Exchange Tube Leak. In September of 2012, a significant amount of chemicals were leaked at the Baytown refinery due to a heat exchange tube leak. A shutdown of a unit at the refiner after the leak appears to be the direct cause of the accident, which resulted in the release of the following amounts of chemicals: 61,958 pounds of Carbon Monoxide, 51,437 pounds of Sulfur Dioxide, and 1,057 pounds of Hydrogen Sulfide. Exposure for even five minutes to these chemicals have the potential to cause significant respiratory damage to individuals.
Propylene Leak. A pipeline leak in July, 2016 prompted the evacuation of residents that live near the refinery. Fortunately, no one was injured in this accident caused by the leak of dilute propylene, which is a highly flammable gas that is often used for fuel. Exposure to chemicals like propylene can cause a variety of medical conditions including: dizziness, fatigue, headaches, liver and kidney damage, skin irritation, unconsciousness, and in the worst case even fatalities.
Bleeder Valve Leaker. In December of 2016, ExxonMobil reported a leak in a bleeder valve on a gofiner unit that led to emissions at the refinery. The gofiner unit breaks down crude oil feedstock by removing certain sulfur compounds.
Obtain the Services of a Skilled Baytown Personal Injury Attorney
If you are injured due to leaky pipes or any other type of accident at Exxonmobil’s Baytown refinery, do not hesitate to retain the services of a skilled personal injury who can make sure that your case resolves in a positive manner.