Pasadena Plant Explosion Injures Numerous Workers

by Terry Bryant

During the morning hours of May 19, dozens of workers at Kuraray America EVAL in Pasadena, Texas, were injured after a blown pressure safety valve caused a massive explosion and flash fire. Nearly 270 workers were on-site at the time of the blast.

Most injuries from the incident were non-life threatening, and while most injured workers were released from the hospital in the week following the explosion, many may now be facing a long road to recovery. Those affected by the blast experienced burn injuries, orthopedic injuries from falls, among others.

Both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Chemical Safety Board are currently investigating the cause of the chemical explosion. Early reports indicate the explosion was caused when one of Kuraray’s reactors leaked ethylene, a highly flammable gas used to produce plastic, and sparked a flash fire.

Kuraray America Inc. produces dental, fiber, resin, and elastomer products, and is the largest ethylene vinyl alcohol plant in the world, capable of producing 47,000 tons annually. The company’s Texas location has four production lines on site.

Industrial Explosions Common in Texas

Production plant explosions in Texas are not uncommon. In fact, there have been at least 7 explosions around the state this year alone, though not all incidents ended with worker injuries.

Blasts like the one at Kuraray can lead to serious injuries affecting multiple parts and vital functions of the body. The force of an explosion may impact a victim’s brain, lungs, ears, eyes, and abdomen, among other body parts. The damage to auditory, visual, respiratory, digestive, and circulatory bodily functions can be severe.

Furthermore, exposure to flames, chemicals, and excessive heat may cause debilitating injuries requiring extensive and costly treatment. Burn-related injuries may lead to disfigurement and damage to deep tissues and organs. In some cases, these injuries have serious effects that persist throughout the rest of a victim’s lifetime.

Terry Bryant Helps Injured Workers

Texas workers are entitled to a safe working environment. The ongoing investigation into the Kuraray America EVAL explosion will determine whether or not the company failed to provide a workplace that was safe for its employees.

The attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law have a long track record of holding companies accountable for their role in worker injuries. If you have questions about our handling of these cases or want to learn more about our services, we encourage you to reach out to our firm today via our online contact form or by calling toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000.

Sources:

https://www.terrybryant.com/blogs/industrial-plant-explosion

https://www.chron.com/neighborhood/pasadena/article/Fire-explosion-at-Pasadena-chemical-plant-12927946.php

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/Chemical-Safety-Board-OSHA-investigate-Kuraray-12932477.php

https://www.chron.com/business/energy/article/Most-injured-workers-released-from-hospitals-12944651.php

http://www.kuraray.us.com/about/