Valero manages a large number of chemical plants including its facility at Three Rivers. When improper or inadequate maintenance of these facilities occur, accidents at refineries happen.Our firm knows what it takes to help individuals like refinery workers who have been injured at a refinery. In addition to contacting a skilled accident attorney, individuals should understand some basic information about how and why accidents at these facilities occur.
The History of the Three Rivers Refinery
Located 70 miles south of San Antonio on a 400 acre piece of property at the edge of town, Valero’s Three Rivers refinery was built in 1974. The Three Rivers refinery has since seen several major expansions and upgrades. The first expansion as in the late 70’s when the refinery added a catalytic reformer vacuum distillation unit. Because the Three Rivers refinery is particularly close to the Eagle Ford Shale formation, the refinery receives mostly local crude by truck and pipeline. The refinery produces a wide variety of products including benzene, diesel fuel, gasoline, jet fuel, liquefied petroleum gases, propylene, toluene, and xylene. The refinery currently produces approximately 100,000 crude oil barrels a day and employs 350 individuals.
Injuries and Fatalities Due to Explosions at Valero’s Three Rivers Refinery
In July of 2001, a vapor release in the alkylation unit caused an explosion that injured several workers and required three hundred people to be evacuated as a result of the blast. An explosion and fire causing injuries to three individuals including two contractors. After receiving notice of the leak, the refinery ordered 300 employees to evacuate including all homes within a seven block radius of the refinery. The resulting fire was eventually contained in an alkylation unit but continued to burn for quite some time. While explosions inevitably happen in industrial settings, many refineries feel a significant pressure to produce as much fuel as quickly as possible. This pressure filled environment can easily create environments where refinery workers are not properly trained, refinery equipment is not properly maintained, and supervision is negligent in overseeing employees. These three elements can all greatly increase the risk of an explosion occurring at an oil refinery.
The Risk of Fires at Valero’s Three Rivers Refinery
There have been several reports of fires occurring at the Three Rivers refinery. One self contained fire occurred in September of 2015 involved a heater at the refinery. Due to this accident, one worker was left with minor injuries. The fire appears to have been quickly contained because there were no reports of major releases of gases or hydrocarbons. Even small fires of this nature are particularly dangerous at refineries like Three Rivers because flames can easily come into contact with hazardous or flammable materials and cause flames of catastrophic proportions or even explosions.
Contact A Skilled Three Rivers Refinery Accident Attorney
There are a large number of ways in which parties can be injured by a refinery accident. Many cases revolve around costs that were incurred by an individual which can include lost wages, emotional suffering, or medical bills. The best first step many individuals who are interested in being compensated for these injuries is to contact our law firm which specializes in refinery accidents as soon as possible.