A fire broke out early Thursday at an ExxonMobil oil refinery in Texas, injuring at least four workers in what local law enforcement described as a “serious industrial catastrophe.”
While the source of the fire is unknown, it occurred at ExxonMobil’s refinery in Baytown, Texas, about 1 a.m. local time.
Three of the injured people were evacuated to a hospital, while the fourth was transferred in an ambulance, according to a statement released on Twitter by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
Initial reports of “some form of explosion” at the facility prompted Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez to issue a shelter-in-place order, but he later clarified that there was no need to evacuate adjacent neighbors or order a shelter-in-place “for the time being.”
ExxonMobil stated that it was coordinating with local officials and working to remedy the matter as quickly as possible, but provided no other information.
This isn’t the first time a fire at Exxon’s Baytown site has resulted in injuries. After a fire at the refinery in July 2019, 37 personnel were injured and suffered minor burns. None of the workers harmed in the 2019 event, on the other hand, had to be hospitalized. According to Reuters, another similar incident occurred in the facility later that year in August, when a propylene recovery unit caught fire, causing a reduction in production.