Nixon Texas Plant Explosion
Two workers were seriously injured in a plant explosion in Nixon, Texas in the early morning hours of May 16, 2012. The plant, reportedly owned by Vann Energy, has been cited by OSHA more than a dozen times related to worker safety. The two men were severely burned in the tank area of the plant, purportedly while cleaning “fracking” tanks. “Fracking” is a nickname for fracturing, a process that involves the injection of chemically treated water into a gas well to break up shale. The waste from this process is stored in tanks in the field and then the byproduct (which sometimes contains dangerous levels of naturally occuring radioactive isotopes and other harmful chemicals) is disposed of.
Texas is a hotbed of natural resource production and the industries associated with the oil and gas boom. Some of the most dangerous places to work are refineries and refracturing facilities, where harmful and flamable chemicals are stored and processed. Unfortunately, given the history of catastrophic explosions at plants in Texas over the past decade, companies continue to place profits over people. The only way to communicate with those companies is to make it less profitable to be unsafe. Civil lawsuits serve the dual purpose of compensating victims and sending a message that a greedy company will hear…if the only thing they care about is money, then that is the language we need to speak.