Explosions at Conroe chemical plant cause 3-alarm fire, road closures

The first of a series of explosions at the DrillChem chemical plant in Conroe, TX, just north of Houston, occurred at 4:40 pm on Friday, August 14th. These explosions resulted in a massive 3-alarm fire at the plant, with safety officials closing nearby roadways and issuing a shelter in place ordinance for those living within a 2-mile radius of the plant.

A hazmat team from The Woodlands, as well as more than 50 firefighters, responded to the blaze and began fighting the fire at around 6 pm, with the fire coming under control around 6:15 pm. Loop 336 was re-opened by 8:30 pm, and the shelter request was lifted last night.

Authorities worried that there could have been individuals inside or near the plant at the time of the explosion. However, representatives of the company state that the last employee left for the day at 4pm.


Explosion and fire at oil tank facility near Karnes City

Yesterday afternoon an oil tank facility near Karnes City experienced an explosion and a subsequent fire. Thankfully, no one was injured in the incident.

At around 4:10 p.m., an explosion occurred at the Shale Tank Truck Facility. Though the exact cause of the incident is not yet known, Karnes County Sheriff Dwayne Villanueva stated that a thunderstorm was rolling into town at the same time. As such, a lightening strike is suspected as a possible cause of the fire. The incident will continue to be investigated, however.

Flames shot into the air that could be seen miles away. Multiple fire departments responded to the scene and decided to let the burning tanks burn themselves out.


Explosion at corn flour plant in Muleshoe

Wednesday morning, three people were injured in a water tank explosion that took place near Muleshoe at the Minsa corn flour plant.

In total, three people were injured. Two of them were taken to Lubbock to be treated at University Medical Center. As of Wednesday afternoon, they were still in critical condition. The third person stayed in Muleshoe to be treated locally.

In January of this year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, reported that Minsa Corp. committed 33 serious violations. These violations included exposing workers to electric shock and hazardous machinery. According to their report, “A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.”

Minsa is reportedly sending more people to the plant to investigate exactly what happened, but Richard Willis, Bailey County Sheriff, did confirm that a water tank explosion had occurred.


Gas Leak causes Explosion at Plant near Corpus Christi

Last night, at around 6 p.m., a gas leak at a Southcross Energy Natural Gas Plant just north of Corpus Christi caused an explosion and subsequent fire that burned for several hours. Pipelines bringing gas into the plant were shut off, allowing the fire to eventually burn out.

Plant officials do not yet know what caused the leak, nor how much of the plant was damaged in the explosion and ensuing fire. Thankfully, no deaths or injuries were reported in connection to the incident. We will continue to monitor the situation and will post updates once more information becomes available.


2 killed, 9 injured in West Texas oil field explosion

An explosion occurred at a West Texas oil field today, injuring nine and killing two workers who were changing a wellhead. The two workers who were killed in the incident, who have yet to be identified, died at the scene and authorities have yet to report on the status of the nine workers who were injured.

According to Loving County Sheriff Billy Hopper, authorities received a call at 8:30 am on Wednesday, reporting that an explosion had taken place. While it was originally thought that workers were working on an oil rig at the time of the explosion, it was later clarified that they were attempting to change a wellhead when a buildup of pressure caused the explosion. 

As of now, it is unknown which oil company operates the oil field on which the explosion occurred. Our team at Williams Kherkher will continue to monitor this incident and provide updates as more information becomes available.


Seven Dead and Nine Missing after East Harlem Explosion

Seven people have been reported dead, and nine individuals are still missing, after a massive explosion occurred yesterday in East Harlem, leveling two buildings and leaving as many as 40 individuals injured. The definitive cause of the accident has yet to be identified, but authorities are saying that a gas leak may have caused the explosion and subsequent fire.

Around 9:13 am on Wednesday, Con Ed utility company received a call reporting a gas leak from a building on Park Avenue. The company sent service vehicles to check on the leak, but by the time trucks arrived, the explosion had already occurred. Two five-story residential buildings were leveled in the explosion and ensuing fire, and officials report that the fatality count is likely to climb in the coming hours and days.

The thoughts of everyone at our firm are with the victims of this tragedy and their families.


Investigations continue into Omaha explosion that killed two

Investigations and recovery efforts are continuing regarding the factory explosion in Omaha that occurred on Monday, January 20. According to Bernie Kanger, the Interim Fire Chief in Omaha, it could be weeks before the investigation is complete.

The explosion took place a little after 10 a.m. at an International Nutrition factory, which produces animal food supplements. According to ABC News, at least two people died in the explosion, 10 others were taking to the hospital for treatment, and seven others were injured but denied treatment. There were a total of 38 people in the factory at the time of the incident.

Due to the cold and uncertain structural integrity of the building, rescue workers have not been able to clear the entire building.

Unfortunately, this tragic accident is not the first to affect this factory. In fact, since 2000, OSHA has given the factory over 10 citations, including one in 2002 stemming from a fatal incident.


7 Injured in Florida propane plant explosion

Late yesterday evening, a Blue Rhino propane tank filling station in Tavares, Florida was the site of multiple explosions, as twenty pound cylinders exploded in a chain reaction. The blasts caused seven people working in the plant to be injured, three critically so.

While John Herrell, a spokesman for the Lake County sheriff’s office, stated that the exact cause of the explosions is not yet known, he did say that the explosions, which started around 10:30 pm EST, only affected those inside the plant. However, other emergency dispatchers noted that homes near the site of the explosions were evacuated as a safety precaution.

The three Blue Rhino employees who were critically injured were taken to the Orlando Regional Medical Center by helicopter for treatment of their severe burns.

At Williams Kherkher, our legal team understands all too well the serious repercussions and harm such propane explosions can cause and, as such, works diligently to help victims of such explosions get the legal help and support they need. Call (888) 220-0640 to talk with us if you’ve been involved in a devastating explosion that caused you harm.

 


Second Louisiana Explosion Leaves 1 Dead, Several Injured

An explosion occurred around 6 pm Friday evening at a CF Industries facility in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, located just miles from the site of Thursday’s deadly blast. According to State Police Trooper Jared Sandifer, nitrogen was being moved from an 18-wheeler by hose into a metallic “vessel” when pressure built up, resulting in the explosion. Sandifer is quoted as saying that this vessel should have been able “to hold thousands of pounds of pressure and it failed.”

One worker at the chemical plant has been reported dead and seven others were injured, some severely, and were transported to nearby hospitals for treatment. Sandifer also commented that the explosion doesn’t pose a threat to anyone near the site.

Our thoughts are with all the victims of this tragedy and their loved ones.


Explosion at Louisiana Petrochemical Plant

An explosion at a petrochemical plant in Geismar, Louisiana, about 20 miles south of Baton Rouge, has resulted in dozens of injuries and at least one death. The blast, which occurred at the Williams Olefins plant, occurred at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 13. Soon after, authorities asked nearby residents to take shelter until the situation was contained. So far, there is no word on what caused the explosion.

The plant is a major source of important petrochemical products, annually producing 1.3 billion pounds of ethylene and 90 million pounds of propylene. This is not the first such accident to hit Southern Louisiana in recent years, either: at least two chemical plant explosions have occurred in the area since 2011.

The thoughts of everyone at Williams Kherkher are with the victims of this terrible incident and their families.


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