Authorities in Refugio County, Texas are reporting that a
gas pipeline burst occurred at a South Texas refinery during the afternoon of April 12th, 2016. The blast caused the deaths of two workers – an employee
of Southcross Energy Partners and a contracted employee – and injured
another worker enough to require hospitalization due to trauma to his
leg. The three men were attempting to repair a section of the pipeline
when a piece of equipment allegedly failed, causing an instantaneous high-pressure
discharge. The specifications of exactly what caused the failure, or what
piece of equipment failed, have yet to be released to the public.
Southcross Energy has stated that no hazardous gases were released due
to the burst, nor were any fires started. It has promised to look into
the cause of the accident.
Investigations Are Not Improvements
Southcross Energy has not had a good safety record in Texas in recent years.
The Refugio County/Woodsboro gas pipeline accident was just one in a series
of dangerous incidents at the company’s plants as of late. Highways
were closed after a blaze erupted at an
oil refinery in Gregory in January 2015. In February, two employees suffered injuries
after an explosion caused a blaze at another plant close to San Antonio.
It would seem that the company’s investigations are only being used
to complete paperwork, not necessarily complete safety improvements. Southcross
Energy also paid out $112,000 in fines to OSHA (The Occupational Safety
and Health Administration) in July for violations and may be facing similar
fines for this most recent fatal accident. It is not clear how much compensation,
if any, will be offered to the surviving family members of the victims.
If you have questions about liability in
oilfield accidents, or if you have been hurt in a similar dangerous event, you can
contact Dean Law Firm today. Our Texas oilfield accident attorney can
evaluate your case for free and determine if you have a viable claim for recovery. Call
432.214.8125 for more information.