One employee of Valero's Memphis refinery has died
while others are reportly injured after a
chemical exposure incident, news reports said on Tuesday.
Reuters reported that a contractor at the refinery was also injured in the
incident, while the Associated Press said
that two firefighters were injured.
The accident occurred Monday morning when an equipment
failure released a hazardous chemical inside the refinery, leading to chemical burns
when a small glass window shattered in an alkylation
Local fire department officials said the workers were exposed
to a mixture of propane and hydrofluoric acid released from a
ruptured sight glass, according to Memphis
newspaper The Commercial Appeal.
"The incident is under investigation, so any speculation
at this point is premature," said Valero spokesman Bill
Valero said the incident did not involve an explosion or fire,
despite initial reports from local media to the contrary.
Operations at the 180,000 bpd were not affected, according to
Three workers at the Memphis refinery were hurt last
March in a flash fire during an overhaul of a crude distillation unit (CDU). One of the
workers later died, Reuters reported.