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21 Injured in Texas Chemical Plant Explosion

May 21, 2018

Twenty-one workers were injured by an explosion and fire that occurred at approximately 10:22 a.m. CDT May 19 at Kuraray America Inc.’s EVAL facility in Pasadena, TX.

At the time of the incident, 266 employees and contract personnel were onsite as part of a turnaround with heavy maintenance activities. The injured were transported to off-site medical facilities for treatment.

Preliminary findings indicate a pressure safety valve released ethylene causing a flash fire in a process units. The company continues to work with authorities to complete the investigation. City officials are continuing to monitor the situation, which poses no danger to the public.

“On behalf of Kuraray America Inc., we send our thoughts and prayers to those who were injured and impacted by today’s incident,” said Eric Bass, plant manager of the EVAL Plant. “Our team is committed to determining the cause of the incident.”

Kuraray is a specialty chemical company that creates quality, sustainable solutions that strengthen products from a diverse range of industries. It was the first entity in the world to bring ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) polymers to market. The company operates many subsidiaries around the world, including Kuraray America Inc., which is headquartered in Houston. Kuraray is a world leader in barrier polymer material. EVAL resins have traditionally been used in household food packaging, from baby foods to shredded cheese. Additionally, this technology is applied every day in automotive plastic fuel tanks, pipes for floor heating systems, and agricultural fumigation films.

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