BP confirms Texas City explosion caused fatalities

23 March 2005 22:48  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (CNI)--BP confirmed Wednesday afternoon that an explosion that rocked its sprawling Texas City refinery has caused multiple fatalities.


“BP can confirm fatalities as a result of the incident but the number is not yet known,” BP said in a statement. The blast, which occurred about 1:20 pm (GMT 1920), sent more than 80 people to area hospitals.


An explosion and fire occurred at the refinery’s isomerisation unit, which produces a component used to increase the octane level in gasoline, said BP spokesperson Annie Smith. The fire was extinguished about an hour after the blast.


Don Parus, manager of the Texas City facility, said, site director said the presence of all 1,800 plant employees was being checked. “We’re really focusing on families and taking care of their needs,” he said.


BP said there was no information regarding the cause of the explosion or the extent of the damage. “Once the situation is brought under control and all workers are accounted for, BP will continue to investigate causes,” BP said. “Terrorism is not the primary focus of BP’s concern.”


BP said non-essential personnel were released from their refinery jobs during the response but other parts of the plant continue to operate. The 1,200 acre unit includes numerous chemical production units as well as refinery units.


At least 23 people were sent to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. At least four of them were listed in critical condition. More than 60 injured people from the refinery and surrounding community were sent to the Mainland Medical Center in Texas City.

By: Brian Ford
+1 713 525 2653

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