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7 Magellan Midstream Contractors Injured in Corpus Christi Tank Explosion, Including Several with Critical Burns


Seven contract workers were injured yesterday morning when an oil storage tank erupted in flames and exploded at a Magellan Midstream facility in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Crew Was Cleaning Storage Tank at Magellan Midstream Tank Farm

Emergency responders were called to the Magellan Midstream tank farm located in the 1800 block of Poth Lane and I-37 shortly after 10:00 a.m. According to media reports, a crew was inspecting and cleaning out a tank that contained residual white crude oil when something sparked a fire. The blast erupted about 40 minutes later.

Corpus Christi Police and more than 60 emergency personnel from the Refinery Terminal Fire Department, the Port of Corpus Christi police, and Nueces County ESD responded to the incident. Those living in the surrounding community were initially ordered to shelter-in-place, but the order was lifted around noon.

Injured Contractors Suffered Burns Ranging from Critical to Mild

All seven contractors suffered burns, including one man airlifted from the scene and taken to the burn unit at San Antonio Medical Center. The remaining six were initially taken to Spohn Shoreline Hospital, but four were later flown to San Antonio in critical condition.

A fifth patient was driven to San Antonio in stable condition, while a sixth was discharged from Spohn Shoreline after receiving treatment for minor injuries.

So far, authorities have not released the victims’ names or identified their employer.

Multiple Agencies Investigating Corpus Christi Tank Explosion

“It’s a sad day for Magellan,” Mark Calhoun, manager of terminal and process operations at Magellan’s facility in Corpus Christi, said during a Saturday afternoon news conference. “The welfare of the men that were injured and their families are the first things on our minds. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them.”

So far, it’s not clear what caused yesterday’s explosion. The Corpus Christi Fire Department, Magellan Refineries, and Nueces County are currently investigating the incident.

”It’ll be a large effort, but together, hopefully, we can find something that was either could be fixed, probable what could come down to the exact nature of what occurred, so that we can hopefully put preventative measures in place,” said Deputy Fire Chief Richie Quintero.

Magellan Midstream Explosion Latest to Rock Corpus Christi Area

Saturday’s explosion was just the latest incident to rock the Corpus Christi region this year.

In September, for example, a blowout caused natural gas condensate to start spewing from an unmanned offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The previous month, a dredging vessel owned by Orion Marine Group hit a submerged propane pipeline in the Port of Corpus Christi, triggering an explosion that left four dead.

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