Deadly blaze at Texas refinery to end in lawsuits in opposition to Marathon By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Marathon Petroleum banner outdoors the El Paso refinery in El Paso, Texas, U.S., October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Julio-Cesar Chavez/File Photograph

By Erwin Seba

HOUSTON (Reuters) -Attorneys representing the household of a employee who was killed in a fireplace at a Texas Metropolis, Texas, refinery and one other employee who was hospitalized mentioned on Wednesday they’ve filed or would quickly file damage claims in opposition to prime U.S. oil refiner Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:).

An worker killed within the fireplace was the second fatality on the refinery this 12 months and comes amid a sequence of fires at U.S. refineries and petrochemical crops since January.

Scott Higgins, a 55-year-old machinist, was killed and two contract staff, together with Eduardo Olivo, had been injured in a fireplace at Marathon’s big Galveston Bay Refinery on Monday morning.

Olivo and the third employee, who has not been recognized, had been staff of Mistras Group (NYSE:) Inc, which offers help to refiners. Olivo obtained second- and third-degree burns, his legal professional, Muhammad Aziz, mentioned at a information convention this week.

An investigation is underway, Marathon spokesperson Jamal Kheiry mentioned, declining to supply additional data.

Along with an inner probe by Marathon, the U.S. Occupational Security and Well being Administration started an investigation this week together with state and federal environmental businesses.

The three had been performing preventative upkeep on the plant’s Ultraformer-3, which converts naphtha produced in oil refining to reformate, an octane booster for gasoline.

The unit is the bigger of two Ultraformers on the 593,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Galveston Bay Refinery, the second-largest in the US. The repairs had been meant to maintain the unit in operation till a deliberate overhaul subsequent January, in line with individuals accustomed to the matter.

“We will probably be suing Marathon and the opposite entities” for gross negligence over Higgins demise, Houston legal professional Tony Buzbee mentioned on Wednesday. “Marathon put its income over employee security,” he added.

Olivo was burned and “intends to deliver negligence, premises legal responsibility and/or gross negligence” claims over his accidents, regulation agency Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner mentioned in a courtroom submitting.

Higgins was the second employee to die on the Marathon refinery this 12 months. A contractor was electrocuted on Feb. 28.

On March 23, 2005, when the refinery was owned by BP (NYSE:) Plc, 15 contract employees had been killed and 180 different individuals had been injured in a explosion brought on by an overflowing refinery unit.

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