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Phillips 66 Restarts Alliance Refinery Following Fatal July 4th Accident


Phillips 66 has restarted its Alliance Refinery in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, following the tragic death of a worker earlier this month.

Jerome Matthews died when he fell from a cooling tower into the refinery’s 15-foot deep wastewater treatment plant on the 4th of July.

Matthews, a contractor with Texas-based HydroChemPSC, had only been on the job for several months, but according to his family, had years of experience working offshore.

Worker’s Remains Recovered 4 Days After Fatal Accident

Initial attempts to retrieve Matthews’s body were unsuccessful, forcing Phillips 66 to close and drain portions of the wastewater treatment plant.

His remains were finally recovered on the evening of July 7th and turned over to the Plaquemines Parish coroner.

The Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery had been closed since the fatal accident, as the facility was unable to operate without a means of treating the water used in the processing of crude oil.

Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery Began Reopening July 16th

Sources told Reuters that the refinery began reopening on July 16th. The 50,000-bpd crude distillation unit and 65,000-bpd vacuum distillation unit returned to minimum production levels on July 18th, while additional units were restarted over the weekend.

A spokesperson for Phillips 66 told Reuters that the refinery was undergoing planned maintenance on Monday.

Family of Deceased Contractor Waits for Answers

The investigation into Matthew’s fatal fall continues.

Floyd Young, a fellow HydroChemPSC employee and friend of Matthews, recently told WVUE-TV in New Orleans that all proper safety procedures were being followed when he died.

“It was very slippery and nasty on top of the tower where we were working and he was grabbing the hose and he slipped and fell into the coolant tower,” Young said.

Days after his death, Matthew’s family was still waiting for answers.

“How or why? And that information still hasn’t been told to us,” his wife, Racquel, told WVUE-TV.

“For a big company like this to handle it this way, it’s mind-boggling.”

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