Industrial Accidents

Texas Industrial Accident Attorneys

Each year, hundreds of workers are hurt and killed due to accidents in the oil field, and at refineries, factories, and plants. Several state and federal agencies are responsible for overseeing the operations at these facilities to ensure workplace safety. Unfortunately, the oversight efforts of our regulatory agencies simply are not enough to prevent accidents. When a company chooses to put profits over safety, that company not only places the lives of its workers in peril, but also endangers the general public at large.

Below are a few examples of the dangers of industrial accidents and their effect on workers and innocent bystanders.

  • SS Grandcamp Explosion – Texas City, Texas (1947)  In 1947, the SS Grandcamp, while docked in the Port of Texas City, Texas, detonated and exploded, killing at least 581 people. The ship was carrying approximately 2,300 tons of fertilizer (ammonium nitrate). The detonation and explosion was so powerful, it created a 15-foot wave that was detected more than 100 miles off the Texas shoreline. Even more amazing, the shock wave was felt more than 100 miles away in Louisiana. Unfortunately, another vessel was moored nearby, likewise carrying the same explosive cargo – ammonium nitrate. The second vessel, the High Flyer, exploded, destroying another nearby vessel, the SS Wilson B. Keene. Additional lives were lost in the subsequent explosions. One of the propellers from the High Flyer was found more than a mile away.To date, this event is recorded as the deadliest industrial accident in the history of the United States. As a result of this disaster, civic leaders in Galveston County launched extraordinary efforts to bring a world class burn unit to the greater Galveston area due to the fact that many of those burned and injured in the SS Grandcamp explosion could not receive proper medical treatment for their burns. As a result of those efforts, Galveston is now home to UTMB- Galveston – a hospital which houses one of the most renowned burn units in the world.
  • BP Explosion and Fire – Texas City, Texas (2005)  On March 23, 2005, Texas City faced another deadly explosion when an isomerization process unit owned by British Petroleum exploded and erupted into flames. Stray hydrocarbon vapors came into contact with an ignition source (most likely an automobile engine from a nearby, idling pick up truck). The explosion and ensuing fire killed 15 workers, injured more than 170, and destroyed property more than a mile away.At the time of the blast, the alarms for the unit had been disabled and no one knew what was about to transpire. Moreover, the plant, which was built in 1934, had not been well maintained and had a history of violations and citations from state and federal agencies, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  The Industrial Accident Lawyers at Hill Law Firm represented more than 100 victims of this explosion who suffered injuries and property loss.
  • Hilcorp Refinery Fire – Edna, Texas (2008)  On June 6, 2008, a group of workers were beginning their second week of demolition work on an abandoned gas plant owned by Hilcorp Energy Company located in Edna, Texas. The workers, who were there to remove industrial valves from the gas plant, were hired by Hilcorp and its demolition contractor – A&R Demolition. As the workers were removing the valves, their cutting torch came into contact with residual hydrocarbons that had been left in the pipeline. An explosion and fire ensued. Three men were burned. Two of the men suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns to approximately 60% of their body. One of those men died from his injuries. One of the survivors hired the lawyers at Hill Law Firm to represent him. After deposing more than 40 witnesses and employees and reviewing thousands of pages of documents , the case went to trial. At trial, we presented evidence that the owner of the plant failed to properly purge and clean the pipelines before the demolition crew arrived. Even worse, we discovered the “abandoned” gas plant still have live hydrocarbon gas lines running in various locations throughout the plant. After a four-week trial in the 55th Judicial District of Harris County, Texas, the lawyers at Hill Law Firm, along with their co-counsel, won a $19,890,000 verdict for the victims of this industrial explosion and fire.

If you know someone who was injured in an industrial accident, you need a lawyer who understands how to litigate complex cases involving explosions, fires, burns, or other industrial injuries. The Houston and San Antonio, Texas Industrial Accident Attorneys at Hill Law Firm have experience in handling cases involving industrial accidents.  Call the Texas Industrial Accident and Injury Lawyers at Hill Law Firm to schedule a free consultation. Preservation of evidence in these claims is crucial so do not delay.