The Valero Energy Company is tasked with running numerous refinery sites including its Texas City refinery. Unfortunately, each year, a significant number of accidents and safety violations occur. For workers or the loved ones of workers in a refinery accident, the best way to begin taking control of your case is to retain the services of a skilled attorney and to understand some of the most critical information about refinery accidents.
The History of Valero’s Texas City Refinery
The Valero refinery in Texas City was built in 1908. For several years, this refinery was the only refinery in the area which produced wax and lubricating oil. The refinery soon developed and expanded into a much larger location with three competing refineries in the area soon being created and making Texas City a significant port for the deepwater shipping shipping of petroleum products in Texas. Valero’s Texas City refinery has continued to develop this location. Most recently, Valero completed a major expansion that consists of a new coker and a gasoline desulfurization unit. The facility produces roughly 245,000 barrels of crude oil each day and employs 480 individuals.
Injuries and Fatalities due to Explosions at Valero’s Texas City Refinery
Several explosions have occurred at Valero’s Texas City refinery. In December of 2009, an explosion at the Valero refinery occurred when a work crew attempted to restart a boiler that had tripped offline. Another explosion occurred in December of 2011 killing one worker and injuring several others. The damaged boiler was responsible for providing steam to refining units, but it is uncertain exactly how this accident occurred.
The Danger of Fires at Valero’s Texas City Refinery
There are a handful of reports about fires occurring at Valero’s Texas City refinery. In August of 2015, a fire at Valero’s Texas City refinery was caused by lightning. The incident occurred during a period of heavy thunderstorms in the Texas City area. After lightning struck a transformer at the refinery, oil inside the transformer was ignited. Firefighters are unable to combat these types of flames with water due to the danger of electrical shock. Instead, firefighters let the fire burn itself out. Fortunately, no one was injured in this accident although the Texas City refinery shut down as a cautionary measure.
Refinery fires have been known to occur for many reasons. Some of the most common reasons why refinery fires occur are lack of training by employees who are tasked with operating machinery at the refinery or lack of maintenance at the refinery of old or defective machinery.
Contact a Skilled Texas City Refinery Accident Attorney
No matter how a refinery accident occurs, it is typical that an individual experiences some type of loss due to a refinery accident. These losses often include lost wages, medical bills, or emotional suffering. A skilled Texas City refinery accident attorney will be able to help you respond to your case in the most persuasive way possible. If you find yourself harmed in a refinery accident, it is almost always a wise idea to retain adequate legal representation as soon as possible.