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Statement from CSB Chairman John Bresland on 5th Anniversary of Fatal BP Texas City 2005 Explosion

March 26, 2010, 1:45 pm

Five years ago today, at about 1:20 p.m., a series of explosions rocked the BP Texas City refinery during the restart of a hydrocarbon isomerization unit.

Fifteen workers were killed and 170 others were injured. Many of the victims were working in or around work trailers located near an atmospheric vent stack. The explosions occurred when a distillation tower flooded with hydrocarbons and was over- pressurized, causing a geyser-like release from the vent stack. The hydrocarbons found an ignition source and exploded.

I urge everyone in the oil refining industry to take a moment today and think about that tragic loss of life and the severity of so many injuries which continue to afflict workers five years later.

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BP Refinery Blast: 5 Years Later

March 24, 2010, 10:27 am

Originally posted on click2houston.com - March 23, 2010

TEXAS CITY, Texas -- Tuesday marked the fifth anniversary of a fatal explosion at the Texas City BP refinery that claimed 15 lives, KPRC Local 2 reported.

Eva Rowe lost both of her parents in the tragedy. But, she said time has helped to heal her wounds.

On Tuesday, she said she's looking forward to bringing a new life into the world. Her first child is due in June.

"I'm going to teach her about it very young, why her grandparents aren't around, not because they don't love her, but because they passed away," Rowe said.

Thanks to Rowe's persistence, the deaths of Linda Rowe, James Rowe and 13 others was not in vain.

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Events mark fatal Texas City refinery explosions

March 24, 2010, 10:24 am

Originally posted by TJ Aulds - Galveston Daily News - March 23, 2010

TEXAS CITY, Texas — Five years after a series of explosions rocked BP’s Texas City refinery, survivors and family members of those killed will come together in Houston not only to reflect on the fatal blasts but also to mark the progress made in petrochemical plant safety across the country as a result of the lessons learned.

Meanwhile, at the refinery where the explosions killed 15 contractor workers and injured more than 200 others, employees will mark the occasion with a moment of silence at the time the blasts happened.

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Five Years Later - BP settlement money helps with safety training

March 24, 2010, 9:52 am

Originally posted by Monica Hatcher - Houston Chronicle - March 23, 2010

It's been five years since Eva Rowe's parents, James and Linda Rowe, and 13 others were killed in the explosion at BP's Texas City refinery.

After a ceremony and conference Tuesday marking the anniversary of the disaster, Rowe said she no longer thinks daily about the tragedy that took her parents' lives and that a large part of the pain had faded, though she quietly wept during parts of the event.

Beaumont lawyer Brent Coon, who represented Rowe and numerous others who suffered losses in the blast, hosted the event at his firm's downtown Houston office. Rowe expressed her gratitude that numerous endowments — established with $44 million included in her settlement with the British oil company — were improving safety in the refining industry.

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Reminders of death linger 5 years after BP blast

March 23, 2010, 10:31 am

Originally posted by Loren Steffy - Houston Chronicle - March 22, 2010

The pipes still hang like old shoelaces around the perimeter of the site, melted from the heat and bent by the blast five years ago.

Metal struts jut from the concrete slab, a reminder of trailers that were temporary meeting rooms one minute, a deathtrap the next.

Rusty Norman was one of the first emergency workers to reach the carnage. He had just entered BP's sprawling Texas City refinery on the sunny morning of March 23, 2005, when an explosion ripped through the isomerization unit, which boosts octane in gasoline. He spent the day aiding survivors and locating bodies of the 15 workers who died at the blast site.

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Cost cutting causes worry about refinery safety

March 23, 2010, 10:29 am

Originally posted by Brett Clanton - Houston Chronicle - March 22, 2010

A deadly explosion at BP's Texas City refinery five years ago today did more than force the British oil giant to upgrade the plant, pay millions to settle lawsuits and shift its thinking about safety.

The tragic event “fundamentally changed BP,” said Keith Casey, BP's Texas City refinery manager.

But there are questions about whether a new wave of cost-cutting by BP and other oil refiners, struggling amid the worst conditions for the business in decades, could push corporate survival to the forefront and relegate safety to a back burner.

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Brent Coon – Statement on March 8th OSHA Fine Against BP

March 8, 2010, 4:25 pm

Regrettably, there is nothing new in the comments by Secretary of Labor Solis today regarding fines against BP for violations observed at their Toledo refinery. “BP ignores and delays fixing problems at their refineries”, OHSA states. That is not news. BP has ALWAYS ignored known hazards at their facilities and put their workers and the communities they operate in at undue risk.

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