21 injured in fire at Kuraray America’s Eval site
Kuraray America, Inc. confirmed that a fire occurred at the company’s Eval facility in Pasadena, TX, USA, at the corner of Choate Road and Bay Area Boulevard at approximately 10:22 a.m. CDT on Saturday, 19 May 2018.
According to the company, at the time of the incident, 266 employees and contract personnel were onsite as part of a turnaround with heavy maintenance activities. All were accounted for. 21 individuals were transported to off-site medical facilities for treatment. As of 21 May 2018, eighteen have been released.
“We are keeping all of those that were injured or impacted by Saturday’s incident in our thoughts and prayers,” said Robert Armstrong, General Manager of the Eval Division of Kuraray America, Inc.
The company said it is committed to understanding what caused this incident and is taking steps to prevent a recurrence. Preliminary indications are that the fire was caused by a release of ethylene from a polymerization reactor that found an ignition source. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) are on site and investigating the incident.
Eval ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) resins have traditionally been used in household food packaging. Additionally, this technology is applied in automotive plastic fuel tanks, pipes for floor heating systems, and agricultural fumigation films.