October 10, 2008 at 11:22 am #3388
BP contract worker dies near Texas City refinery
By TOM FOWLER Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
Oct. 9, 2008, 10:34PM
A contract worker died Thursday in an accident at a work site related to BP’s Texas City refinery.
The worker, whose identity had not been released Thursday evening, died after being pinned against a railing by a backhoe, BP said in a statement. He was working at the Texas City land farm, a 200-acre site about a mile south of the refinery.
The land farm receives nonhazardous biological materials from the refinery’s wastewater treatment plant, according to the company. It is then spread over the ground and tilled. The materials biodegrade there, mainly through exposure to the sun and bacteria.
15 killed in ’05 blast
The Texas City refinery was the site of a massive explosion in 2005 that killed 15 workers. The man killed Thursday was the fourth to die in accidents involving the facility since that 2005 disaster.
The worker was taken to Mainland Medical Center after the accident, and it was not immediately clear whether he died there or at the work site. He was with Gaia Environmental, an environmental consulting firm with offices in Texas City and Dripping Springs.
Bill Householder, president of Gaia, said BP hired his company to monitor the operations at the land farm to make sure they complied with environmental laws. He declined comment on the accident pending a company investigation.
Local and regulatory officials, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, have been notified of the death, and an investigation is under way, BP said.
“Our thoughts are with the family, friends and co-workers of the worker who died and with his associates at Gaia Environmental,” the company said in its statement.
Three others have died at BP Texas City since the March 2005 explosion:
. Ronnie Graves, a contractor, was crushed while operating a bucket lift on July 21, 2006.
. Richard Leining, a BP employee, was electrocuted while working on a light in a refinery process unit on June 5, 2007.
. William Joseph Gracia, a BP supervisor, died from burns and head injuries after a heavy metal lid flew off a vessel containing hot water and hit him on Jan. 14.
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