BAYTOWN, Texas (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp introduced underneath management a fireplace that erupted on Wednesday at its Baytown, Texas, refining and chemical plant advanced, injuring 37 employees, none severely.
Emergency crews labored to extinguish the hearth into the night, the corporate mentioned in an announcement. The reason for the blaze was not disclosed, however an investigation was underneath manner and Exxon mentioned it was cooperating with authorities.
The injured employees had been handled for minor burns, none requiring hospitalization, plant supervisor Jason Duncan advised a information briefing.
The hearth, which was put down by the corporate’s workers, despatched black smoke into the air over the advanced in Baytown, a metropolis of 75,000 which is situated about 30 miles (48 km) east of Houston. Firefighters and gear from the town entered the plant at noon to help, an official mentioned.
Firefighters continued to spray water on a charred column the place the hearth started late Wednesday. Residents across the plant had been advised to shut home windows and doorways, flip off air con and stay of their houses, colleges or places of work. A shelter in place order was lifted after a number of hours.
“We’re cooperating with regulatory businesses. We deeply remorse any disruption or inconvenience that this incident could have prompted the neighborhood,” Exxon spokeswoman Sarah Nordin mentioned in an announcement.
Out there air monitoring info from the within the Baytown Olefins Plant’s grounds and outdoors monitoring sources recorded no hostile impacts, she mentioned. The hearth burned residual gas contained in a big column on Wednesday.
The Baytown advanced that features the olefins plant the place the hearth occurred employs about 7,000 folks amongst 4 manufacturing websites that cowl three,400 acres (13.eight sq. kilometers). It sits alongside the Houston Ship Channel, the nation’s largest and busiest vitality port.
Duncan declined to touch upon the hearth’s influence on manufacturing at Exxon’s adjoining 560,500 barrels-per-day oil refinery. Two folks accustomed to its operations mentioned Exxon lowered some manufacturing on the refinery, which supplies feedstocks to the unit that caught fireplace.
Aerial footage throughout the blaze confirmed flames and heavy smoke emanating from a big column on the facility, which Exxon recognized as a part of its manufacturing of olefins, a element of plastic. Emergency automobiles and other people had been massing across the fringe of the advanced.
The corporate mentioned a complete of 66 workers and contract employees had been examined and launched throughout the day at a close-by well being clinic which supplies first help.
Exxon final 12 months accomplished the development of a multi-billion-dollar ethane cracker on the Baytown Olefins Plant. The cracker can produce 1.5 million tons per 12 months, and supplies feedstock to 2 different manufacturing traces at its Mont Belvieu, Texas, plastics plant.
Reporting by Erwin Seba in Baytown and Collin Eaton in Houston; Modifying by Marguerita Choy and Leslie Adler