CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) – Seven contractors, four of them seriously, were injured when a storage tank exploded after a fire in a Texas oil facility on Saturday morning.
The fire started around 10 a.m. near a crude oil storage tank in Corpus Christi that was being cleaned and inspected, said Mark Calhoun, operations manager for Magellan Midstream Partners.
“As for the cause, we don’t yet know exactly what happened and what caused the fire,” said Calhoun. “We will be working absolutely fully with the investigation … and Magellan will also conduct a thorough internal investigation.”
According to Deputy Fire Chief Richie Quintero, a protection order was issued just before noon that was lifted after the explosion and there was no further injury or property damage and no air pollution.
“An aerial surveillance was conducted throughout the incident and there were no worrying readings for any type of gas or chemical,” said Quintero at the site.
The fire was extinguished and the firefighters left the site shortly after 2 p.m.
Texas governor Greg Abbott said in a statement that the state would provide emergency relief if needed.
“The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality monitors air quality in the area and the Texas Division of Emergency Management is on hand to provide assistance,” Abbott wrote. “The state is ready to provide additional resources to respond to this event and protect the community.”
There have been several incidents in the region this year. In September, natural gas began to spew from an unmanned platform off the coast of Corpus Christi. This platform is owned by Houston-based Magellan E&P Holdings Inc., which is not affiliated with Magellan Midstream Partners.
In August, four people were killed when an Orion Marine Group dredger struck a submerged prop manual in the port of Corpus Christi and caused an explosion.
Sean Strawbridge, CEO of the port, said the port was unaffected by the explosion on Saturday. Since the facility is not located on the port property, the port will not play a role in the investigation.
The Magellan plant has 60 storage tanks and a small refinery that was not affected by the explosion, according to Calhoun.
This story has been corrected to show that the injured were contractors, not employees. That story has also been corrected to show that an unmanned well that began discharging natural gas in September is not affiliated with Magellan Midstream Partners.
Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.