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Texas chemical plant explosion and fire injures 21

21 May 2018

On May 19, specialty chemical manufacturer Kuraray America confirmed that a fire had occurred at the company’s EVAL facility in Pasadena, Texas, and that 21 individuals were transported to off-site medical facilities for treatment. Local media reported that many of the casualties had burn injuries.

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Stock image

The company said in a statement that at the time of the incident, 266 employees and contract personnel were onsite as part of a turnaround with heavy maintenance activities. All have been accounted for.

Preliminary findings indicated a pressure safety valve released ethylene causing a flash fire in one of the plant’s process units.

The company said it was working with authorities to complete an investigation into the incident.

One day after the incident, attorneys for a badly burned worker filed a $1 million lawsuit against the company, alleging gross negligence and safety transgressions, according to

Workers carrying out welding and pipefitting work caused the explosion, the suit alleges. As a team worked on an insulation tower, a safety release valve failed and caused over-pressurisation in the piping, which sparked the explosion and sent a fireball into the sky.

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