HOUSTON – Three workers who were injured in an explosion at the KMCO chemical plant in Crosby filed suit against the company on Monday, alleging that negligent practices caused the blast that injured them and killed another worker.
Plant contractors Aurelio Campos, Jose Flores and Noe Flores were injured when a check valve on a high-pressure isobutylene line failed and caused the intense blaze, according to the complaint filed by the Lanier Law Firm and the Alexander Law Firm.
Personnel at the plant were aware of a leak in the line before the explosion, according to the complaint.
“As Houston neighbors, we entrust chemical plant operators like KMCO to place safety before everything else,” said Lanier Law Firm lawyer Larry Wilson. “There’s one root cause when explosions happen at these facilities, and that’s a failure of safety procedures.
“We will thoroughly investigate this incident and get answers to ensure that plant employees and neighbors are safe and that something like this doesn’t happen to another worker.”
Local and federal authorities are investigating the blaze. Preliminary reports indicate that the April 2 fire started at a tank holding the combustible gas isobutylene before spreading to a nearby warehouse.
The fire caused thick, toxic smoke to drift over parts of the Houston metropolitan area, prompting shelter-in-place warnings at numerous area school districts and public institutions.
The incident was the second chemical plant fire in the Houston area in 17 days.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages for the injured workers’ pain and anguish, medical care and related expenses.
The case, Aurelio Campos et al. vs. KMCO LLC, was filed in Harris County District Court, case No. 2019-24813.
The Lanier Law Firm has offices in Houston, New York, Los Angeles and Oklahoma City and is composed of more than 60 attorneys, practicing in a broad array of areas, including business fraud, asbestos exposure and entertainment law.