Another chemical plant went up in flames in Texas, according to CBS19. This time, the industrial fire happened in Palestine, Texas. In response, the town’s police department issued an urgent emergency alert to evacuate due to the fire. The police emergency alert was issued to all residents within a half-mile radius of Baze Chemical. Eventually, the fire was extinguished and no injuries or deaths were reported. Baze Chemical was founded in 1993 and specializes in alkoxylation, as well as producing surfactants and emulsion breakers.
When a chemical plant ignites into flames, the impact can be felt in surrounding communities. In some cases, workers and nearby residents are evacuated and nobody is harmed. But the attorneys at Tracy Fox King & Walters have seen the devastation caused by massive plant explosions. For example, the 2013 explosion that happened at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas killed 15 people and injured more than 200 in the nearby community. In addition, the explosion was recorded as a 2.1-magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale. This explosion was recently likened to the Beirut explosion in August 2020 that killed more than 200, injured about 6,500, and caused roughly $15 billion in property damage.
Leading causes of chemical plant fires and explosions
Incidents like this should be a wakeup call for those who manage and work at chemical plants. But since 2018, such incidents have only become more common. Why do these plant explosions happen? Some of the leading reasons include:
- Poor maintenance of facilities – It’s critical that all equipment is properly cleaned and maintained when not in use. This includes boilers, tanks, containers, and equipment used to transfer hazardous materials. Electrical wiring should also be secured – damaged or exposed wires should be promptly fixed. Defective machines or equipment that pose an electric hazard should be unplugged and secured immediately.
- Inadequate training for workers – All employees who handle chemicals, oil, or gas should be trained on how to safely operate machinery, handle hazardous materials, recognize labels of hazardous materials, and prevent combustions from occurring. Workers should also be trained on safety measures in facilities. That includes ensuring that machines are turned off and secured when not in use and potential ignitors (such as cigarettes) are not used within a facility.
- Poorly stored or labeled hazardous materials – Explosions aren’t the only types of accidents that occur in plants. We often hear about chemical or gas leaks that pose a toxicity risk to workers and nearby residents. That’s why all hazardous materials should be properly stored, secured and labeled. Storage tanks and containers that are defective or out of date should be replaced promptly.
What should I do if I or a loved one was injured in a chemical plant explosion?
The residents of Palestine, Texas were fortunately evacuated to safety as the situation was brought under control. In many cases, chemical plant fires and explosions happen without warning. In such cases, there is often no time to prepare or get to safety. When a disaster caused by a chemical plant occurs, the consequences can be devastating. You may have sustained severe injuries such as:
- Broken bones
- Penetration injuries from projectiles
- Traumatic brain injury
- Crushed limbs
- Emotional trauma and anguish due to the loss of a loved one
Whatever type of injury you’re dealing with, the Texas attorneys at Tracey Fox King & Walters can help you demand the compensation you deserve. Our award-winning attorneys have an outstanding track record of success. As a firm, we have secured millions of dollars for injury victims and their families through negotiated settlements and court verdicts. We have seen the devastating aftermath of industrial accidents and we are committed to helping you and your family get the justice you deserve.
Discover what we can do for you. Contact us online for your free and confidential case evaluation. Our law offices are conveniently located in Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio and we proudly serve clients throughout the State of Texas.