October 7, 2006 at 10:12 pm #4122
No effect is found on air, plant officials say
Thursday, October 05, 2006
By Matt Scallan
A burst pipe at the Motiva Norco Refinery injured four people Monday, the company and the Department of Environmental Quality said Wednesday.
The accident occurred at 1:20 p.m. as contract workers were preparing to shut down the plant’s coker unit for scheduled maintenance, according to Kimberly Windon, the plant’s manager of external affairs, and the DEQ’s initial report on the incident.
The DEQ report said seven workers were taken to local hospitals, three of them with oil burns, and six suffering from smoke inhalation. Two others were treated on-site, according to DEQ spokeswoman Jean Kelly.
Windon said only four of the workers required treatment. Two remain at River Parishes Hospital; two have been released. Windon said the company is not releasing information on how much oil leaked or the name of the company that employs the contract workers.
An oil refinery coker uses heat to break down heavy crude oil into different petroleum products. Windon said all of the appropriate state and federal agencies were notified and that an investigation into the incident is under way.
“This incident was unfortunate, but we’re trying to learn from what happened,” she said. Air monitors at the plant’s fence line showed no impact from the spill, which was contained in about 45 minutes, Windon said.
In an unrelated incident, an olefins unit at the adjacent Shell Chemicals plant shut down unexpectedly after a compressor trip Tuesday about 5 p.m., causing flaring at the plant, Shell spokeswoman Lily Galland said. The olefins unit extracts components used in manufacturing plastics from crude oil.
Matt Scallan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (985) 652-0953.
October 7, 2006 at 10:14 pm #7527
Motiva’s Norco Refinery had a pipe rupture while contract workers prepare Coker for scheduled maintenance shutdown Monday.
Seven workers were taken to hospital but only 4 were injured – 3 had burns.
In an unrelated incident, Shell Chemicals adjacent olefins unit shutdown due to a compressor trip the next day (Tuesday).
Several other refineries have reported accidents / incidents this week.
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