Skip to Main Content

Fatal Fall Kills Contractor at Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery


A contractor died tragically over the July 4th holiday, when he fell into a water basin at the Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery in Belle Chasse, Louisiana.

Search for Remains Forces Phillips 66 to Shut Refinery

The deadly accident occurred around 9:30 p.m., last Wednesday evening.

Jerome Matthews, a contractor with Texas-based HydroChemPSC, was last seen alive as he fell into a 15-foot-deep water basin in the refinery’s primary cooling tower.

Initial attempts to retrieve Matthews’s body were unsuccessful, forcing Phillips 66 to initiate a 48-hour shut-down process before responders could safely enter the basin.

The shutdown was completed on Saturday, July 7th. Matthews’s remains were recovered that evening and turned over to the Plaquemines Parish coroner.

Fellow HydroChemPSC Contractor: Crew Followed Proper Safety Procedures

It’s not yet clear what caused Matthews to fall into the basin.

“He was working the night shift. There were three of us. 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,” Floyd Young, a fellow HydroChemPSC employee and friend of Matthews, told WVUE-TV in New Orleans.

Young maintained that the crew was safety conscious and had been following all proper procedures just prior to the accident.

Deceased Contractor’s Family Waits for Answers

As of Sunday, Matthews’ family had received few answers, and his body had yet to be returned.

“For a big company like this to handle it this way, it’s mind-boggling,” Matthews’ wife, Racquel, told WVUE-TV. “We just want his remains so we can put him to rest.”

Phillips 66 indicated that an investigation into the accident is underway.

Personnel from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are on scene to determine if any workplace safety violations contributed to Matthews’s death.

Have Questions About the Fatal Accident at The Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery? Contact Our Undefeated Plant Explosion Lawyers at 1-888-603-3636 or by Clicking Here.

Our Undefeated Refinery Explosion Lawyers are investigating the deadly accident at the Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, and will post an update should new information become available.

With more than $1 billion won for our clients, including more than 1,000 men and women who were injured or tragically killed while working at refineries, pipelines, and industrial plants throughout Louisiana, Texas, and across the United States, our attorneys have the resources and skills necessary to ensure that you and your family are fully compensated for all of your injuries and losses.

If you or a loved one were hurt in a refinery accident or explosion, and you would like to explore your legal options, call 1-888-603-3636 or  click here to send us a confidential email through our “Contact Form.”

All questions and consultations are free, and because we only represent clients on a contingency-fee basis, you’ll pay nothing unless we win your case.