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Texas Personal Injury News

Friday, October 6, 2017

Texas Chemical Plant Explosion Raises Safety Questions

Could the Crosby, Texas chemical plant explosion have been prevented?

Following Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in Texas as a devastating Category 4 storm, the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas was rocked by two explosions.  The plant produces liquid organic peroxides that are used mainly in the making of plastic.  Due to the nature of the peroxides, when the molecules become heated enough, they start to break down, generating heat and leading to fires.  After Harvey, the floodwaters caused the plant to lose power.  Its backup generators failed, and everyone in the immediate vicinity was evacuated.  Explosions ensued, leading some to question whether proper protocol was followed.  

Should the Plant Have Been Operating?

While fortunately no one was injured by the explosions, concerns still exist as to whether the released chemicals could lead to personal injuries or environmental harm. The plant has stated that the fumes should be nothing more than “noxious.”  However, safety officials are continuing to assess what byproducts were released by the smoke.  

The explosions have left many people wondering why the plant was still operating in the wake of the approaching hurricane. Some safety experts believe the plant should have emptied the tanks and moved them to storage facilities as it could have foreseen a loss of power.  Alternatively, the tanks could have been vented so that the chemicals would have been lost to the atmosphere, thus avoiding the risk of fire.

Chemical Plant Explosions and Personal Injuries

Chemical plant accidents are among the most serious occupational accidents that can occur across the nation.  Many chemical plants store and utilize volatile chemicals.  When mistakes happen, these chemicals can lead to massive explosions.  Some of the largest chemical plant disasters have happened in Texas.  

Thousands of employees and potentially members of the public can be injured in a chemical plant accident.  While smoke inhalation and burns are the immediate concern, long term, exposure to these chemicals can have deadly affects.  Anyone who has been injured in a chemical plant accident should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.  Whether you are an employee or someone living in the vicinity of the plant, your attorney can evaluate your potential claim against the chemical plant.  

 


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