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March 7th, 2016

Fire at Pasadena Plant

This past Saturday morning, March 5th, 2016 smoke was seen rising into the air from a Pasadena refinery.

Result And Cause of The Explosion

One person was injured in an explosion at the refinery, which sent clouds of smoke into the air. A fire started at the Pasadena Refinery System as a result of the explosion in the hydrogen desulfurization unit. The fire was caused when a compressor and hydrogen were released with diesel fuels which caught fire. The injured worker received flash burns to his hands. The fire was contained according to the health and safety manager for the company, Mark Berlinger. The surrounding areas of Harris County was tested and showed no indication of any off-site impact, according to the health and safety manager.

Environmental Impact

The Houston Ship Channel’s operations were paused after the explosion in order to test for suspected environmental impact after the chemicals were introduced into the air.

The company has been subjected to over $1 million in fines from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality since 2010. Some have described the refinery has poorly maintained and expected something like this would happen.

Local Concern

Nearby residents reported hearing the explosion and feeling it shake their homes. Some are concerned with the smells of chemicals from the plants, as well as the constant alarms that are heard at all times of the day and night. This particular plant has been the subject of controversy and corruption dating back to the early 2000s.

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