66 treated in ExxonMobil plant fire in Baytown | Shelter-in-place order lifted

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Thursday, August 1, 2019
66 treated in ExxonMobil plant fire in Baytown
Sixty-six people are reported as having non-life threatening injuries following the large fire that broke out in the olefins unit.

BAYTOWN, Texas (KTRK) -- A fire is burning at the ExxonMobil Olefins Plant off Highway 146 at Spur 330 in Baytown. The company said 66 people sought out treatment for non-life threatening injuries.

All workers are said to have been accounted for. None of those injured required hospitalization, according to ExxonMobil.

Initial report from the burning plant in Baytown

The fire broke out in the olefins unit before the lunch hour on Wednesday

A shelter-in-place that was issued for residents who live west of the plant and south of 330 has been lifted, as of 3:05 p.m. Air monitoring didn't detect any levels of concern, according to the City of Baytown.

WATCH: How Baytown businesses handled ExxonMobil plant fire

ABC13's Nick Natario reports from a Baytown restaurant where patrons had to shelter-in-place amid the ExxonMobil fire response.

The material is easily ignited by heat, sparks or flames and will form explosive mixtures with air.

Any cylinders exposed to the fire may vent and release flammable gas through pressure relief devices.

When it comes to the health impacts of the gas, vapors may cause dizziness or asphyxiation without warning.

Contact with gas or liquefied gas can also cause burns, severe injury and/or frostbite.

ExxonMobil released the following initial statement about the fire:

A fire has occurred at the Baytown Olefins Plant. Our fire teams are working to extinguish the fire. We are conducting personnel accounting. Our first priority remains the safety of people, including our employees, contractors and the surrounding community. As a precaution, our Industrial Hygiene staff is conducting air quality monitoring at the site and fence line. We are cooperating with regulatory agencies. We deeply regret any disruption or inconvenience that this incident may have caused the community.


What to do during a shelter-in-place

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted that his department is monitoring the situation and is ready to respond if needed.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is headed to the scene.

ExxonMobil's website states that the Baytown Olefins plant began operations in 1979 and is one of the largest ethylene plants in the world.

ExxonMobil recently completed the construction of a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker at the Olefins Plant. ExxonMobil says the cracker has a capacity of 1.5 million tons per year and provides ethylene feedstock to two new high-performance polyethylene lines at the Mont Belvieu Plastics Plant, which was built in 1982. The projects were part of ExxonMobil's 10-year, $20 billion Growing the Gulf expansion program.

This is the second time within a few months that a fire has broken out at an ExxonMobil plant. That previous incident occurred in March.

READ MORE: Officials investigating cause of fire at ExxonMobil refinery in Baytown