Fire Breaks out at Marathon Refinery in Texas; 1 Worker Dead

Fire Breaks out at Marathon Refinery in Texas; 1 Worker Dead
The Marathon Galveston Bay Plant in Texas City, Texas, in November 2022. (Google Maps/Screenshot via NTD)

TEXAS CITY, Texas—A fire at a Marathon Petroleum refinery near Houston on Monday caused visible flames and left at least one worker dead, the company said.

Marathon said the cause of the morning fire was under investigation. Aerial footage from Houston television stations showed crews trying to put out flames at the Galveston Bay refinery, which is along a stretch of Texas coast that is heavily populated by petrochemical facilities.

Neither the company nor authorities immediately said whether anyone else was injured.

“The safety of our workers and the community is our top priority, and a full investigation will be conducted to determine the cause of the incident,” Marathon said in a statement.

Texas City police said that by Monday afternoon the fire was under control and contained in the facility. The company had earlier said it had accounted for all workers.

Fires at refineries in the area are not uncommon. Earlier this month, a fire at a Shell facility in nearby Deer Park sent nine workers to the hospital and caused massive plumes of smoke.

In March, an explosion and fire at a facility owned by INEOS Phenol in nearby Pasadena, Texas, left one injured.

The fire comes after a 2005 explosion—one of the worst refinery explosions in U.S. history—left 15 dead and 180 others injured at this same facility, which was then owned by BP. It was sold to Marathon in 2013, renamed the Galveston Bay refinery and in 2018 merged with another Marathon facility to become what it is today, according to previous statements by BP and Marathon.

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