Last week, an explosion at PeroxyChem, a Pasadena chemical plant that produces hydrogen peroxide and other products, resulted in the death of a contractor and has left three other workers with serious injuries. This accident is just the latest in a string of plant explosions in the greater Houston area over the past 14 months. In fact, it is at least the tenth industrial disaster to occur since the deadly chemical leak at the La Porte DuPont plant that killed four workers in late 2014.
According to the Pasadena Fire Marshal’s Office, the cause of the accident was an over-pressurized tank, which was holding a flammable oil-based cleaning solution. The workers were in the middle of a routine function when the tank ignited. Three workers were rushed to local hospitals with chemical exposure injuries and a bone fracture injury. The contractor was killed at the scene.
PeroxyChem’s main product is hydrogen peroxide, which in low concentrations is a safe and common household item. However, in high concentrations, the chemical is highly toxic, causing serious burns and having the potential to explode when heated.
Houston has long been one of the world’s largest manufacturing hubs for chemicals and petrochemicals, and unfortunately, it is never a question of whether an accident will occur: it is when and where. Although Peroxychem had a fairly clean record and has placed a significant focus on safety, the nature of the industry is that accidents can happen at any time.
This accident is still under investigation, and further updates will be made available via local news outlets as more details unfold.
If you or someone you know has been hurt in an industrial explosion accident, please call a Houston injury lawyer at Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs. Receive an initial consultation when you call our office at (713) 489-6566.