May 16, 2023
A fire broke out Monday morning at the Marathon Galveston Bay Refinery in Texas City, TX. One worker was killed and two others injured in the blast.
The fatality is the second in less than three months at the nation’s second largest refinery.
Scott Higgins, who was a machinist and member of United Steelworkers Local 13-1 and nearing retirement, died from his injuries, according to sources cited by Reuters. The two injured workers, inspectors employed by an outside firm contracted by Marathon, were rushed to University of Texas Medical Branch Hospital in Galveston, but their condition is unknown.
Texas City police said the fire had been contained by Monday afternoon and was not at risk of spreading to other facilities.
Marathon said the cause of the fire was still under investigation. There’s no word if any other employees sustained injuries during the incident.
“The safety of our workers and the community is our top priority, and a full investigation will be conducted to determine the cause of the incident,” Marathon said in a statement.
Another explosion occurred just two months ago, on March 22, 2023, at the INEOS plant in Pasadena, TX. Fire officials said the fire was caused when a liquid petroleum gas explosion occurred while liquid bulk trucks were delivering raw materials. They ruled it accidental.
An explosion at this same Marathon facility also killed 15 people and injured 180 others back in March 2005. A vapor cloud of natural gas and petroleum ignited and exploded at the isomerization process unit at the plant.
There was $3 billion in damages and legal settlements.
At the time, the facility was owned by BP. Marathon Petroleum bought it in 2013.
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