A “major industrial accident” occurred early Thursday morning at an ExxonMobil plant in the Houston-area city of Baytown. An explosion happened inside the plant about 26 miles east of downtown Houston and a large fire followed. “Some injuries have been reported. Please avoid the area,” the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter. Videos posted on social media showed dense smoke rising from the facility. Four people were injured at the oil refinery. One of them falled about 40 feet.Three of the injured were taken for treatment by helicopter and one by ambulance. All employees were accounted for. The plant’s emergency workers still were working some hours after the accident to extinguish the fire. The Baytown refinery began operations in 1920 and can process up to 584,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
A similar accident occurred in the same place a year ago. „Our first priority remains the safety of people, including our employees, contractors and the surrounding community. As a precaution, we are beginning to conduct air quality monitoring at the site and fence line. We are cooperating with regulatory agencies. We deeply regret any disruption or inconvenience that this incident may have caused the community,” ExxonMobil declared in a statement. There is no shelter in place or evacuation order in the city. Exxon Mobil’s Baytown complex covers 3,400 acres. The refinery employs about 7,000 people.