BP Texas City Explosion Brent Coon

Texas City Explosion Library

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Statement from CSB Chairman John Bresland on 5th Anniversary of Fatal BP Texas City 2005 Explosion

March 26, 2010, 1:51 pm

Five years ago today, at about 1:20 p.m., a series of explosions rocked the BP Texas City refinery during the restart of a hydrocarbon isomerization unit.

Fifteen workers were killed and 170 others were injured. Many of the victims were working in or around work trailers located near an atmospheric vent stack. The explosions occurred when a distillation tower flooded with hydrocarbons and was over- pressurized, causing a geyser-like release from the vent stack. The hydrocarbons found an ignition source and exploded.
I urge everyone in the oil refining industry to take a moment today and think about that tragic loss of life and the severity of so many injuries which continue to afflict workers five years later.

Reminders of death linger 5 years after BP blast

March 24, 2010, 1:51 pm

Originally posted by Loren Steffy - Houston Chronicle - March 22, 2010

The pipes still hang like old shoelaces around the perimeter of the site, melted from the heat and bent by the blast five years ago.

Metal struts jut from the concrete slab, a reminder of trailers that were temporary meeting rooms one minute, a deathtrap the next.

Rusty Norman was one of the first emergency workers to reach the carnage. He had just entered BP's sprawling Texas City refinery on the sunny morning of March 23, 2005, when an explosion ripped through the isomerization unit, which boosts octane in gasoline. He spent the day aiding survivors and locating bodies of the 15 workers who died at the blast site.

Cost cutting causes worry about refinery safety

March 24, 2010, 9:49 am

Originally posted by Brett Clanton - Houston Chronicle - March 22, 2010

A deadly explosion at BP's Texas City refinery five years ago today did more than force the British oil giant to upgrade the plant, pay millions to settle lawsuits and shift its thinking about safety.

The tragic event “fundamentally changed BP,” said Keith Casey, BP's Texas City refinery manager.

But there are questions about whether a new wave of cost-cutting by BP and other oil refiners, struggling amid the worst conditions for the business in decades, could push corporate survival to the forefront and relegate safety to a back burner.

“Right now, it's sort of an unknown,” said Joe Howicz, a retired safety trainer with the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration who worked on refinery safety programs at the agency after the BP blast. “How is it going to affect safety if they go through another cycle of closing refineries and reducing capacity and downsizing staff and money for operations?”

Anger lingers after fatal refinery blasts

March 24, 2010, 9:47 am

Published March 24, 2010

Five years of sadness and anger were evident as David Senko read the names of the 11 contract workers he supervised at BP’s Texas City refinery. Each was among the 15 people killed on March 23, 2005, when a series of explosions ripped through the refinery.

“I could not live with myself if I turned my back on these guys,” Senko, the former construction manager for BP contractor J.E. Merit, said during a commemoration event of the fatal blasts on Tuesday. “I love them and I see their faces every day.

“They were all great people hurt by people, killed by people (at BP).”

While the commemoration event in a law office in Houston was supposed to focus primarily on what progress had been made since the blasts shook the nation’s third-largest oil refinery five years ago, Senko’s statements were evidence that the frustration remains that BP’s top executives never were held personally accountable for what happened.

BP settlement money helps with safety training

March 24, 2010, 9:46 am

Originally posted by Monica Hatcher - Houston Chronicle - March 23, 2010

It's been five years since Eva Rowe's parents, James and Linda Rowe, and 13 others were killed in the explosion at BP's Texas City refinery.

After a ceremony and conference Tuesday marking the anniversary of the disaster, Rowe said she no longer thinks daily about the tragedy that took her parents' lives and that a large part of the pain had faded, though she quietly wept during parts of the event.

Beaumont lawyer Brent Coon, who represented Rowe and numerous others who suffered losses in the blast, hosted the event at his firm's downtown Houston office. Rowe expressed her gratitude that numerous endowments — established with $44 million included in her settlement with the British oil company — were improving safety in the refining industry.

Events mark fatal Texas City refinery explosions

March 24, 2010, 9:44 am

Originally posted by TJ Aulds - Galveston Daily News - March 23, 2010

TEXAS CITY, Texas — Five years after a series of explosions rocked BP’s Texas City refinery, survivors and family members of those killed will come together in Houston not only to reflect on the fatal blasts but also to mark the progress made in petrochemical plant safety across the country as a result of the lessons learned.

Meanwhile, at the refinery where the explosions killed 15 contractor workers and injured more than 200 others, employees will mark the occasion with a moment of silence at the time the blasts happened.

It was at about 1:20 p.m. on March 23, 2005, that an overflow of highly flammable material shot from a sub-unit at BP Texas City’s isomerization unit and was ignited by a truck’s idling diesel engine. That set off a cascade of explosions that leveled nearby office trailers and changed safety operations not just at BP but at similar facilities across the nation.

BP faces $3 million safety fines for Ohio refinery

March 9, 2010, 7:44 am

Originally posted by Erwin Seba - Reuters

HOUSTON, March 8 (Reuters) - BP Plc was accused of more problems in its U.S. operations on Monday when the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced dozens of safety violations found at the BP-Husky refinery in Toledo, Ohio, that could cost the energy giant more than $3 million in fines.

OSHA's announcement comes five months after the agency slapped BP with a record $87.4 million fine for failing to fix safety problems at its giant Texas City, Texas, refinery found after a March 2005 explosion that killed 15 workers and injured 180 other people.

"OSHA has found that BP often ignored or severely delayed fixing known hazards in its refineries," said U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis in a statement. "There is no excuse for taking chances with people's lives. BP must fix the hazards now."

OSHA Levies a Record Fine against Oil Giant BP

November 12, 2009, 9:37 am

On Oct. 30, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it was issuing a proposed $87.4 million fine against BP Products North America Inc. (BP) for failure to remedy workplace hazards. The proposed fine is the largest ever issued by the agency and results from a 2005 explosion at an oil refinery that killed 15 workers.

BP Texas refinery hit with record safety fine

November 1, 2009, 9:37 am

By Erwin Seba of Reuters


HOUSTON - US safety regulators ha shit oil giant BP with a record $US87.4 million fine for failing to fix safety violations at its Texas City, Texas, refinery after a deadly 2005 explosion.

US safety authorities impose record £53m fine on BP for Texas City failings

November 1, 2009, 9:22 am

British company has not fixed hazards after 2005 explosion at industrial complex that cost 15 lives

Andrew Clark in New York

The US government raised grave questions over BP's safety culture today by imposing a record fine of $87.4m (£53m) on the British company for failing to fix hazards at its Texas City oil refinery in the wake of a disastrous explosion that killed 15 people four years ago.

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