Explosion at petroleum storage tank farm injures seven in US
07 December 2020
Seven contractors were injured on December 5 after an explosion at the Magellan Midstream Partners petroleum storage tank farm in Corpus Christi, Texas. The incident happened at around 10:00 local time when the contractors were cleaning a petroleum tank.
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Corpus Christi Deputy Fire Chief Richie Quintero told reporters during a televised news conference that four of the injured workers were in critical conditions while another was taken to a burns centre at a hospital in San Antonio.
During the same news conference, Magellan’s Local Operations Manager Mark Calhoun said that the seven contractors, who are employees of Shelton Services Inc., had been cleaning a large, above-ground storage tank when the explosion happened. The tank was storing residual light crude oil, Calhoun said.
Magellan primarily transports, stores and distributes refined petroleum products and crude oil, according to its website. It’s tank farm in Corpus Christi on Texas’ south east coast has 60 storage tanks capable of holding 37 million barrels of petroleum and petroleum products.
The exact cause of the blast remains unknown. An investigation has begun with both Magellan and Shelton Services working with regulatory officials to gain an understanding of the circumstances surrounding the blast.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement saying: “The State of Texas is working closely with Magellan and Corpus Christi officials to aid in the emergency response efforts and to provide immediate help to those injured in the explosion. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is monitoring air quality in the area, and the Texas Division Of Emergency Management is on the ground to provide support. The Texas Department of Public Safety is also working to provide assistance to first responders on the ground. The state is ready to deploy additional resources to respond to this event and keep the community safe."
In August 2020, another incident occurred in Corpus Christi when a dredging vessel ruptured a submerged natural gas pipeline in the Port of Corpus Christi. The resulting explosion killed four people and injured six others.