The investigation into the deadly Corpus Christi explosion could take a year

Lawsuits have been filed against three men involved in a pipeline explosion in Corpus Christi on Friday.

Three of the lawsuits are for $ 50 million apiece. You’re looking for $ 10 million. All were filed in Harris County.

Emergency teams respond to a pipeline explosion near the Lantana and Up River Straits in Corpus Christi, Texas on Friday, August 21, 2020.

The lawsuits were filed by a Houston-based law firm, the Buzbee Lawfirm, on behalf of Miguel Martinez, Rafael Espinoza, Joel Rivera and Jose Delgado.

Orion Marine Construction, Inc. is listed as a defendant in the lawsuits. The company is based in Port Lavaca. Orion officials said most of the workers live in the area.

Officials said Orion was doing work for a customer in the Corpus Christi port. Orion was not involved in an ongoing project to improve the Corpus Christi Ship Channel.

Martinez, Epinoza, and Rivera are listed as dead in the lawsuits, according to Caller-Times court records.

Chris Leavitt, a lawyer involved in the lawsuit, said Martinez, Espinoza and Rivera were one of four men missing in the blast.

Delgado, who is looking for $ 10 million, was injured in the explosion. Leavitt said it was Delgado’s first week at work. Delgado was burned on the face, back and shoulders, Leavitt said.

At 8 a.m. on Friday, the Waymon L. Boyd struck an underwater gas pipeline and caused an explosion. The fire from the explosion ignited the ship and spread from the pipeline to a nearby grain elevator, the lawsuits said.

Martinez, Espinoza, and Rivera were killed. The lawsuits do not say how the men were found.

The US Coast Guard said Saturday it had recovered two bodies. The identities were not released.

Emergency teams respond to a pipeline explosion near the Lantana and Up River Straits in Corpus Christi, Texas on Friday, August 21, 2020.

The Coast Guard said Saturday it has stopped searching for two missing workers.

Emergency teams helped eight people after the explosion. Six were taken to hospitals, four by the Corpus Christi Fire Department and two by the Coast Guard. Two others refused treatment. According to official sources, five people were taken to hospitals in San Antonio for treatment.

Espinoza, Martinez, and Rivera’s families are demanding $ 50 million for loss of financial assistance and contributions, loss of services, inheritance, pain and suffering, and funeral expenses.

to clean up

Emergency teams respond to a pipeline explosion near the Lantana and Up River Straits in Corpus Christi, Texas on Friday, August 21, 2020.

Approximately 6,000 feet of absorbent booms have been placed around the ship and 4,000 feet of absorbent booms are available if needed. Air quality review by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is ongoing.

The diving and recovery operations began at 10 a.m. on Sunday and are continuing, according to a Nueces County press release.

“A piece of the dredger was in the middle of the canal and is currently being safely removed,” the press release said. “The Texas General Land Office, state director of coastal oil spill control, is on site working to identify, protect and protect Texas natural resources and ensure the spills are contained.”

About 1,600 gallons of diesel fuel was removed from the water, and about 680 gallons of diesel fuel / water were skimmed off.

The port’s captain reopened the Corpus Christi Ship Channel with restrictions from the Chemical Basin to the Viola Basin, Port of Corpus Christi CEO Sean Strawbridge said in the press release.

Coast Guard crews respond to a fire dredger in the ship channel of the port of Corpus Christi on August 21, 2020. A Corpus Christi MH-65 Sector / Air Station Dolphin helicopter crew was launched on site, picked up and relocated two injured crew members to Corpus Christi Medical Center - Bay Area.

“While the search and rescue mission for the lost crew of Waymon L Boyd is complete, the suffering of the injured crew and families of the lost continues. Our heartfelt prayers go with them all,” Strawbridge said on the release.

The port and an incident management team are continuing the recovery and recovery of the ship with Orion Marine, Strawbridge said in the press release.

Related reporting

More:The Corpus Christi pipeline explodes and the USCG searches for missing crew members

More:The Coast Guard has stopped searching for any remaining missing crew members following the pipeline explosion

Alexandria Rodriguez covers the breaking news and crime scene in South Texas. Support local news by reading our subscription options and specials at