Doctors list four people in critical condition out of seven contract workers injured in an explosion and fire Saturday morning at a petroleum storage facility in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Medical helicopters later transferred all four critical cases to a burn center in San Antonio. One of the remaining injured listed in stable condition was transported to San Antonio by street ambulance.
A spokesperson for Magellan Midstream Partners told reporters that the seven were cleaning an above ground storage tank drained in preparation for routine inspection, manager for Magellan’s local operations Mark Calhoun said.
A residual of the light crude drained from the tank could still be found inside, Kaplan said.
Shortly after 10 a.m., emergency dispatchers received a report concerning a fire and possible explosion at the Magellan facility north of I-37 on Poth Lane, Corpus Christi deputy fire chief Ricky Quintero said. Quintero served as incident commander during the emergency.
“Firefighters arrived five minutes later to find heavy fire and heavy smoke within the storage tank area,” he said.
Because the burning tank sat nearly 150 yards from the facility’s main access road, establishing a water supply for firefighting took between 15 and 20 minutes after the initial call, Quintero said.
Meanwhile, responders searched for and triaged the victims, transporting the first to a local hospital at 10:13 a.m., he said. The last of the seven injured left the scene at 10:36 a.m.
“We confirmed that all seven people involved in this incident were harmed,” Quintero said.
Of the 60 first responders to arrive on scene, 48 belonged to the Corpus Christi Fire Departmernt. Also represented were Refinery Terminal Fire Company, Corpus Christi’s industrial mutual aid organization; the Annaville Fire Department and emergency responders with Nueces County.
Authorities notified nearby residents of the emergency via reverse 911. An item posted to the Corpus Christi police Twitter site at about 10:40 a.m. asked that residents shelter-in-place until further notice.
Air monitoring conducted upon arrival indicated no health concerns, Quintero said.
Of the two injured admitted to Chistus Spohn – Shoreline Hospital in Corpus Christi, doctors later released one.
Magellan Midstream Partners is a publicly traded partnership that primarily transports, stores and distributes refined petroleum products and crude oil. Magellan operates a 9,800-mile refined products pipeline system with 54 connected terminals, plus independent terminals and marine storage facilities.
The Corpus Christi site consists of 60 storage tanks containing various grades of petroleum product.
It had already been an eventful year for industrial fires in Corpus Christi. In February 2020, a large pipeline fire near the Citgo Refinery forced police to shut down I-37 in both directions.