ExxonMobil refinery fire in Beaumont injures 12

At least 12 contract workers are injured after a Wednesday morning fire in the processing unit of ExxonMobil's Beaumont refinery in Texas, local media sources reported.

The unit where the fire occurred was down for maintenance at the time of the blaze, according to ExxonMobil refinery spokeswoman Kathleen Jackson.

Six injured workers were taken to Beaumont hospitals with a variety of injuries, Jackson said. The city's fire department said three of the workers were critically burned.

Medical helicopters were not used to transport the burn victims because of poor weather, according to a report in the Beaumont Enterprise newspaper.

Instead, the injured workers were taken by ambulances, which were seen going in and out of refinery gates around 11:30 a.m. local time, the report said.

ExxonMobil said all refinery employees have been accounted for.

"We sincerely regret this has happened and will conduct a complete investigation to determine the cause of the incident," company spokeswoman Rachael Moore said in a statement, adding that the fire was successfully extinguished.

The cause of the fire has yet to be disclosed. Residents near the refinery reportedly did not hear sirens.

The ExxonMobil Beaumont site is one of the larger refineries in the US, with a capacity of 344,500 bpd.

By Ben DuBose, Online Editor

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