Seven contractors were injured on December 5 after an explosion at the Magellan Midstream Partners oil storage tank farm in Corpus Christi, Texas. The incident occurred around 10:00 a.m. local time when contractors were cleaning an oil tank.
Corpus Christi Deputy Fire Chief Richie Quintero told reporters during a televised news conference that four of the injured workers were in critical condition while another was taken to a burn center at a San Antonio hospital.
During the same news conference, Magellan's local operations manager Mark Calhoun said the seven contractors, who are employees of Shelton Services Inc., had been cleaning a large storage tank above ground when the explosion occurred. The tank held residual light crude, Calhoun said.
Magellan primarily transports, stores, and distributes refined petroleum products and crude oil, according to its website. Its tank farm in Corpus Christi on the southeast coast of Texas has 60 storage tanks capable of holding 37 million barrels of oil and petroleum products.
The exact cause of the explosion is unknown. An investigation has been launched with Magellan and Shelton Services working with regulatory officials to understand the circumstances surrounding the explosion.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement that read: “The state of Texas is working closely with officials from Magellan and Corpus Christi to assist in emergency response efforts and to provide immediate assistance to those injured in The explosion. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is monitoring air quality in the area, and the Texas Division of Emergency Management is present to provide support. The Texas Department of Public Safety is also working to provide assistance to first responders on the ground. The state is ready to deploy additional resources to respond to this event and keep the community safe. "