Valero Meraux Refinery Fire Hospitalizes 8 Workers in Louisiana, Including 2 With Severe Burns
Undefeated Louisiana Refinery Explosion Lawyers
A fire erupted at the Valero Meraux Refinery in Louisiana Saturday afternoon, sending eight workers to area hospitals, including two people who were severely burned.
The April 23rd fire broke out around 5:15 p.m. at the Valero Meraux Refinery, located at 2235 Jacob Drive in St. Bernard Parish. Residents living nearby reported hearing an explosion, while video taken by witnesses showed black smoke rising from the facility.
Paramedics rushed eight workers to area hospitals, including two Valero employees and six contractors. Two of those individuals were taken to University Medical Center in New Orleans, where they are reportedly receiving treatment for severe burns. The remaining six workers were all released from the hospital on Saturday evening.
Valero Meraux Refinery Was Undergoing Multi-Unit Overhaul
Valero Energy is the second-largest refinery in the nation and operates 15 petroleum refineries throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The 550-acre Valero Meraux Refinery employs around 300 workers and has a total throughput capacity of 135,000 barrels per day.
So far, it’s not clear what might have caused Saturday’s fire.
According to Reuters, Valero began a multi-unit overhaul at the 125,000 barrel-per-day facility on March 24th. Sources said work was being performed on the 135,000 bpd CDU when the blaze broke out. The overhaul project was expected to take 45 days, with the refinery reopening in mid-May. However, Saturday’s fire could push back the restart.
Valero Meraux Explosion Injured Refinery Worker in April 2020
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first incident involving the Valero Meraux Refinery to result in injury.
In April 2020, another worker was hospitalized after an explosion erupted in the facility’s hydrocracking unit. The incident also released as much as 5,500 pounds of sulfur dioxide. That same day, an operator discovered that a pressure safety valve at the plant was not seated properly.
Last year, Valero agreed to pay $47,357 in fines to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to settle allegations that it did not follow federally mandated safety procedures during that incident. Among other things, the agency alleged that the valve operator had failed to implement Valero’s safety system bypass procedure in violation of the law, resulting in the accident.
According to NOLA.com, Valero also entered into a separate settlement with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality in February 2020, agreeing to pay more than $11,000 to resolve allegations that it had:
- Violated limits on the release of pollutants into the Mississippi River
- Failed to follow proper testing procedures in monitoring pollutant releases
- Failed to file proper records for pollutant release tests
- Failed to test for nitrogen and phosphorus at some wastewater disposal outfalls
- Discharged oily fluid into the river without permission
- Improperly discarded some records of tests of wastewater acidity
Undefeated Louisiana Refinery Explosion Lawyers: Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consult
Our Undefeated Plant Explosion Lawyers are investigating Saturday’s fire at the Valero Meraux Refinery in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, and will post an update when more information becomes available.
In addition to being undefeated, our attorneys have won Billions – including Record-Breaking Verdicts and Settlements – for thousands of workers and families across Louisiana, Texas, and throughout the United States following the worst plant, refinery, and pipeline explosions in recent history.
If you or someone you love were injured during the Valero Meraux Refinery fire, please call 1-888-603-3636 or click here to fill out our confidential contact form.
During your consultation, our Experienced Explosion Attorneys will answer your questions, go over your rights, and provide the information you need to make the best decision for your family.
All consultations are free, and because we only represent clients for a contingency fee, you won’t pay us a dime unless we win your case.