ExxonMobil fire: 4 hurt in ‘major industrial accident’ at Texas refinery

BAYTOWN, Texas — A fire early Thursday at an ExxonMobil plant in Baytown, Texas, left four people injured, according to officials.

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It was not immediately clear what caused the incident, which the Harris County Sheriff’s Office called a “major industrial accident.”

Update 10:55 a.m. EST Dec. 23: ExxonMobile officials said the company’s emergency response teams extinguished the fire at the Baytown refinery Thursday morning, hours after it was first reported.

“The causes of the incident have not yet been determined,” ExxonMobile said in a statement. “We are coordinating with authorities as appropriate, and all findings will be incorporated in our continuing effort to enhance our safety performance.”

Update 7:27 a.m. EST Dec. 23: The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office tweeted shortly before 5 a.m. CST that all four people who were hurt in the blaze are in stable condition at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center Downtown.

ExxonMobil Baytown Area later shared the following statement about the incident:

“Our emergency response teams continue to work to extinguish the fire at our Baytown Complex,” the statement read. “Our first priority is people in the community and in our facilities. Air monitoring continues along the fence line. Available information shows no adverse impact at this time. No shelter-in-place has been called for our community and near neighbors. We deeply regret any disruption or inconvenience that this incident may have caused the community.”

Update 5:15 a.m. EST Dec. 23: The Harris County Sheriff’s Office tweeted shortly after 4 a.m. CST that three of four people injured in the blaze, which began three hours earlier at the company’s refinery on Decker Drive, were taken to the hospital by helicopter. The fourth victim was transported by ambulance, authorities said.

“No fatalities have been reported,” the tweet read. “There is currently no shelter-in-place.”

Original report: Injuries have been reported after a fire broke out early Thursday at an ExxonMobil plant in Texas, authorities said.

In a overnight tweet, ExxonMobil Baytown Area tweeted that the blaze began shortly before 1 a.m. CST at the company’s refinery on Decker Drive in Baytown.

“At this time, emergency vehicles and smoke may be noticeable to the community,” the tweet read. “We are coordinating with local officials and working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that “some injuries have been reported” in connection with the “major industrial accident.”

“Information is preliminary at this time: Initial reports indicated some type of explosion occurred inside the plant,” Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted shortly after 2:30 a.m. CST. “LifeFlight is responding.”

Officials are urging residents to avoid the area.