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One Worker Dies, Two Injured in Fire at Texas Refinery

Reuters, May 16, 2023
Reuters

One worker has died and two others were hospitalized after a fire broke out Monday morning at the Marathon Petroleum's Galveston Bay Refinery in Texas City, Texas. The blaze broke out about 9:30 a.m. CDT (1430 GMT) and was extinguished within four hours, according to the people familiar with the matter and Marathon Petroleum spokesperson Jamal Kheiry. Scott Higgins, a Marathon machinist nearing retirement, died at a Galveston, Texas, hospital from injuries received in the incident, said the people familiar with the matter. Two others were sent to hospital.

All three were performing routine maintenance on the plant's 75,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Ultraformer 3 (UU-3) when a pump seal near them failed, causing a fire to erupt, the people said. Names of the hospitalized workers were not immediately released. The UU-3 is the bigger of two reformers at the 593,000-bpd refinery, the second largest in the United States, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Reformers convert refining byproducts into octane-boosting components added to gasoline.

An investigation is underway by the company and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). State and federal environmental agencies are expected to launch their own probes in coming days.

The fatality is the second this year at the plant. A contract worker died in March after receiving an electric shock at the refinery.

Texas City is located 42 miles (68 km) southeast of Houston.


(Reporting by Erwin Seba and Arpan Varghese)


 

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