OREGON, Ohio – A massive fire broke out at BP-Husky Toledo around 7 p.m. Tuesday. Witnesses reported an explosion followed by large amounts of black smoke and flames coming from the refinery. The Oregon Fire Department was dispatched to the facility, and the fire was finally extinguished around 10:15 p.m. Production at the plant was shut down.
Tragically, two BP staff were fatally injured in the fire during rescue efforts and passed away from their injuries. It has been reported that numerous others suffered injuries – although first responders could not say just how many people were hurt and what the extent of those injuries were.
The exact cause of the fire is under investigation, but sources have suggested that leaking fumes from a crude unit may have caused the ignition. Workers had recently finished a maintenance turnaround, and the plant had just resumed operations.
British Petroleum’s Toledo refinery, which is in Oregon, Ohio, has a team of over 800 employees and as many as 2,000 contractors. It processes up to 160,000 barrels of crude oil daily, producing up to 3.8 million gallons of gasoline, 1.3 million gallons of diesel, and 600,000 gallons of jet fuel.
Interestingly, BP’s largest refinery in Whiting, Indiana, was also shut down in late August following a fire at the plant, prompting the federal government to issue an emergency declaration. BP has a history of severe and willful violations of safety that have led to numerous refinery fires, deaths, and injuries.
It is expected that the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will investigate the incident and determine if the deaths and injuries were the result of BP violating safety regulations that are essential to protecting the safety and health of workers in the petroleum refining industry. OSHA has previously found BP to have willfully disregarded safety requirements and acted with plain indifference to employee safety.
Refinery workers engage in some of the most potentially dangerous types of work in any industry. Incidents like this expose them to fire, fumes, explosions, and toxic chemicals. The danger of inhalation of these chemicals extends beyond refinery workers and contractors to individuals living in the area.
Reach out to Our Attorneys if You Were Injured at a Refinery
Virtually every oil field or oil refinery is covered by workers’ compensation insurance. This gives injured workers a means to receive compensation. However, workers’ compensation does not provide a complete range of damages that a personal injury claim does. So, if you were hurt due to the negligence of a third party, such as a contractor, you may have an opportunity to recover additional damages.
Charles Boyk Law Offices is extremely experienced with the details of personal injury and workers’ compensation claims. If you or a family member have been injured at a refinery, you can be sure we can provide you with superior representation. Reach out today to learn more.