UpdateUS Valero investigates fatal Memphis refinery incident

04 December 2012 16:31  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with confirmation from Valero)

LONDON (ICIS)--US-based Valero on Tuesday confirmed that a worker at its Memphis refinery in Tennessee died after being exposed to a hazardous chemical on Monday and that the incident remains under investigation.

Company spokesperson Bill Day said at approximately 08:45 (14:45GMT) local time on Monday, “the Valero Memphis Refinery experienced a failure of a small sight glass in a rotometer at the plant’s alkylation unit.”

Emergency crews from both the refinery and local fire department arrived to handle the incident and one Valero employee and one contractor were transported to the hospital with injuries, he added. The employee died in hospital.

“There was no explosion or fire at the plant. There was no environmental impact to neighbouring communities from this incident, and refinery operations were not affected,” Day said.

He added that the investigation into the incident “will be thorough and probably very lengthy”.

“A team of Health, Safety & Environmental executives from Valero's San Antonio headquarters has arrived along with third-party experts to oversee the investigation and to work with regulatory agencies,” Day said.

According to media reports, the contractor, and two firefighters who were also exposed, were taken to a hospital in a non-critical condition.

In March, a flash fire at Valero's Tennessee refinery seriously injured three contract workers. One later died after suffering severe burns.

By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214

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