July 31, 2019
7:45 pm Updated to adjust injury numbers: 37 with confirmed injuries, 66 in all sought medical treatment
All workers are accounted for, with 37 people sustaining “minor burn” injuries, after an explosion and fire — now said to be under control — at ExxonMobil‘s Baytown Olefins Plant in a unit that contains polypropylene material, according to officials in Harris County.
Later in the day, the plant’s manager said a total of 66 people sought medical treatment of some kind at the plant.
None of the injuries, including first-degree burns, required hospitalization, according to plant manager Jason Duncan, who Tweeted earlier that “Our emergency response teams continue to work to extinguish the fire at our Baytown Olefins plant.”
“The unit affected processes light hydrocarbons including propane and propylene.”
Exxon’s fire team is working to keep control over the fire; it looks as if fire crews will let the fire burn out; a cause for the fire has not been released.
It happened shortly after 11 am Central Daylight time at plant near Houston.
Air quality monitoring at the plant’s parameters is underway, Duncan Tweeted, with “no adverse impact at this time.”
A Texas Commission for Environmental Quality is at the plant, with at least one more TCEQ staffer on the way.
Some product was lost in the fire, Duncan said, but crews acted as fast as possible to shut down the affected portion of the plant and isolate the fire’s source.
An earlier shelter-in-place order for an area west of the plant has been lifted.
Shelter-In-Place includes residents and business personnel staying indoors, keeping doors and windows shut and keeping air conditioners off for the duration.