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Corpus Christi Tank Farm Explosion Sparks Push for Stronger Safety Regulations


Safety advocates are pushing Texas lawmakers to impose tougher safety regulations on industrial storage tanks, following a fire and explosion that burned seven contractors working at a Corpus Christ tank farm last Saturday morning.

“Dangerous petrochemical incidents like this are far too common in Texas,” Adrian Shelley, director of the Texas office of Public Citizen, recently told The Houston Chronicle. “When the Texas Legislature convenes in January, we hope lawmakers will pass long-overdue legislation to prevent chemical accidents.”

Shelton Services Contractors Were Cleaning Oil Storage Tank

Seven employees of Shelton Services were rushed to the hospital Saturday morning after a fire broke out in an empty storage tank at the Magellan Midstream petroleum facility located in the 1800 block of Poth Lane and I-37. The tank exploded about 40 minutes later, sending a thick plume of smoke into the air that forced nearby residents to shelter in place for roughly two hours.

The blast remains under investigation. But Magellan Midstream has confirmed that the Shelton Services contractors were cleaning the oil storage tank at the time. While it was mostly empty, there was sludge on the bottom. So far, it’s not clear if the presence of that material played a role in the explosion.

5 Remain Hospitalized After Magellan Midstream Tank Explosion

All seven contractors suffered burns. Two received treatment at Spohn Shoreline Hospital before being released on Saturday afternoon. Five others were taken to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, which specializes in treating burn injuries. They were last listed in stable condition.

According to The Houston Chronicle, two Texas lawmakers have filed bills this year that would strengthen safety rules for petrochemical storage tanks if their measures are passed in the next legislative session. The proposals would beef up standards for tanks in areas prone to flooding, storm surges, and hurricanes.

“The Legislature can help protect petrochemical industry workers and those in nearby communities by approving legislation aimed at preventing the spread of fires to adjacent tanks, protecting tanks against severe storms and flooding, and improving public notification,” Shelley said.

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Our Undefeated Plant Explosion Lawyers are monitoring events surrounding the Magellan Midstream tank explosion in Corpus Christi, Texas, and will post additional updates if new information becomes available.

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