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Five injured in fire at Formosa's Texas complex

By: Frank Esposito

September 17, 2013

POINT COMFORT, TEXAS — Five workers were injured Sept. 13 in a fire at Formosa Plastics Corp. USA's high density polyethylene resin plant in Point Comfort.

Four of the workers were taken by helicopter to local hospitals, according to a news release from Livingston, N.J.-based Formosa. The fifth was taken to a local hospital by ambulance.

Three of the injured workers were released as of Sept. 16, while a fourth was expected to be released that day. The employee who remains hospitalized "is doing well," a company spokesman said.

The fire occurred at a tower that was out of service at one of the site's HDPE units. No cause for the fire has been determined.

The incident occurred less than five months after 14 workers were injured in a fire at an ethylene purification unit at the same site. The cause of that May 2 fire also remains unknown.

The impact of the Sept. 13 fire on the site's ability to produce HDPE hasn't been determined. The May 2 fire caused Formosa to operate under force majeure conditions for HDPE production for about a month.