Over-Pressurized Chemical Reactor Led to Explosion at Kuraray America’s Pasadena, Texas Chemical Plant

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An “abnormal high-pressure condition” in a chemical reactor at Kuraray America’s Pasadena, Texas chemical plant led to the explosion that injured 21 workers last May.

Kuraray America Plant Explosion Followed Maintenance Turnaround

The Kuraray America EVAL plant had just completed a maintenance turnaround, when an explosion erupted on the 1200 production line shortly before 10:30 a.m. on May 19th.

According to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, the  chemical reactor became over-pressurized during pressure-testing activities.

As a result, a pressure-relief valve discharged more than 2,000 pounds of highly-flammable ethylene gas into the atmosphere.

Apparently, the vapor made contact with an ignition source near welding equipment in the back of a Dodge pickup truck.

“The flammable gas ignited, resulting in a large flash fire, which then propagated back to the relief valve outlet and became a jet fire,” the Board said.

21 Workers Hospitalized, Including 2 With Severe Burns

Although the fire burned for less than three minutes, several workers in the vicinity suffered burns.

Others were hurt when they jumped from heights or ran to escape the flames.

In total, 21 workers were taken to area hospitals, including two severely burned men who had to be airlifted from the plant.

The Chemical Safety Board will issue a final report and recommendations once its investigation into the Kuraray America chemical plant explosion is complete.

While it has as no authority to levy fines or issue new regulations, the Board’s recommendations have led to significant safety improvements at plants and refineries throughout the United States.

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Our Undefeated Plant Explosion Lawyers are  representing multiple workers injured in the Kuraray America explosion and will continue to post updates as new information becomes available.

In addition to being Undefeated, our Houston Explosion Attorneys have won over $1 billion and successfully represented more than 1,000 workers in Texas, Louisiana, and across the United States following the worst plant and refinery explosions in recent history.

If you or someone you love were injured in a workplace explosion or fire, call 1-888-603-3636 or click here to send us an email through our “Contact Us” form.

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