A PERSON died and three more were injured in an explosion at a chemicals site owned by PeroxyChem in Pasadena, Texas, US.
The site mainly produces hydrogen peroxide. The explosion happened at around 12:30 local time on 16 January while plant employees and contractors were carrying out “a routine function”. Vance Mitchell of the Pasadena Police Department, told the Houston Chronicle that a tank containing an oil-based cleaning solution had exploded. David Brannon, from the Pasadena Fire Marshal's Office, said that the explosion was likely due to over-pressurisation of the tank. According to PeroxyChem, however, the contractors’ equipment exploded.
PeroxyChem spokeswoman Amie Leopold told The Chemical Engineer that the deceased person, a contractor whose name has yet to be released, was pronounced dead at the scene. Another contractor and two PeroxyChem employees were taken to hospital. According to the Chronicle, one of the workers has a broken arm, while two more suffered chemical exposure.
“We are deeply saddened to report the loss of the contactor. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones,” Leopold said. “The incident is under investigation.”
The PeroxyChem site manager Joe Ainsworth told KPRC that the fatality was the first ever on the site, and that there had been no process-related injuries since 2007 or 2008.
The US Chemical Safety Board is beginning an investigation into the tragedy.
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