Updated — Twenty-one workers at Kuraray America Inc.'s Pasadena, Texas, ethylene vinyl alcohol plant were treated for injuries, following a May 19 fire at the facility.
As of May 21, 18 were released from the hospital, according to the company.
Company officials said the fire occurred at about 10:22 a.m., local time. The fire has been extinguished, according to company officials and the Pasadena Office of Emergency Management.
Preliminary findings indicate a pressure safety valve released ethylene, causing a flash fire in one process units. The company and authorities are investigating the incident.
“At the time of the incident, 266 employees and contract personnel were onsite as part of a turnaround with heavy maintenance activities. All have been accounted for. Twenty-one individuals were transported to off-site medical facilities for treatment,” Kuraray America officials said in a statement.
The Pasadena Office of Emergency Management said there was no danger to the public.
“A fire explosion (h)as occurred in the EVAL plant. Multiple emergency vehicles in route. The city will continue to monitor the situation and advise you if you need to take action,” the city said in a statement.
“On behalf of Kuraray America, Inc., we send our thoughts and prayers to those who were injured and impacted by today's incident,” said Eric Bass, plant manager, in a news release. “Our team is committed to determining the cause of the incident.”
Kuraray America is headquartered in Houston, and is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Kuraray Co. Ltd. The company makes EVAL-brand EVOH barrier resin in Japan, the United States and Belgium.