A massive explosion has rocked an ExxonMobil Baytown Olefins Plant in Baytown, Texas near Houston according to reports from locals nearby via social media. Official reports have revealed that four people were injured in the fire which has now been safely extinguished. Emergency responders were called to the scene of the blast that shook homes and foundations miles away at 1 AM on December 23rd.
The Explosion and Fire On Video
According to ABC13,
All four victims were rushed to Memorial Hermann in the medical center. We learned two of them were being treated for burns, a third person had a fracture and the fourth person was being treated for injuries related to a fall of about 40 feet.
Exxon officials said the four victims were in stable condition.
“All other personnel at the site have been accounted for, and we’re ensuring that these individuals are receiving the best care possible. We will continue to support their families through this difficult time,” said Exxon Mobil refinery manager Rohan David.
— Tee♏OhGee😘 (@MizzPretty_83) December 23, 2021
Exxon also released the following statement early Thursday morning:
“Our industrial hygiene staff continues air quality monitoring at the site and fence line. Available information shows no adverse impact at this time. We are coordinating with authorities as appropriate. We deeply regret any disruption or inconvenience that this incident may have caused the community.”
According to Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, after the explosion, three of the injured were transported by Life Flight Helicopter, one other by ground. Everyone else is accounted for, says ExxonMobil.
About The Exxon Refinery At Baytown
The ExxonMobil Baytown Olefins Plant is the second-largest oil refinery in the United States with a capacity of 584,000 barrels per day and is located in Baytown along the Houston shipping channel covering 3,400 acres. According to Marketwatch, it is the single largest employer in Baytown. The site has been operating with various expansions and reconstructions for over a century, having been built in 1919 by Humble Oil Company. Exxon’s About page for the site tells that “The Baytown Olefins Plant, which began operations in 1979, is one of the largest ethylene plants in the world. In 2018, we completed the construction of a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker at the olefins plant, which has a capacity of 1.5 million tons per year.”
The plant also completed the construction of a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker with a capacity of 1.5 million tons per year that provides ethylene feedstock to the two high-performance polyethylene lines at Mont Belvieu Plastics Plant that started up in 2017. The extent of the damage from the fire and the source of the explosion is unknown at this time.
This is the second major industrial accident reported this year near Houston, the first was at the Dow Chemical plant at Bayport in July.