Three contractors who worked at the KMCO plant in Crosby have filed a lawsuit against the chemical storage facility after a chemical fire occurred. They claimed officials knew about the valve leak that caused the explosion and didn’t do anything about it.
The fire happened on April 2 and killed one worker and injured several others. The lawsuit claims that KMCO officials were aware of the leak in the check valve on a high pressure line containing isobutylene. The leak caused the flammable gas to start a fire.
“Our information and belief, before the explosion it became apparent to personnel at the plant that a leak was occurring at or near the check valve,” the lawsuit said. “Despite this knowledge, KMCO personnel did not immediately order an evacuation or sound the general alarm.”
Attorney Larry Wilson, who is representing Aurelio Campos, Jose Flores and Noe Flore in the lawsuit, said they were at the KMCO plant replacing insulation on piping when the fire happened.
“Even for our men, it ended up being hand signals for people to turn around that was alerting them to the fact that we need to be getting out of here,” Wilson said.
“If a company has a large release of a highly explosive material like isobutylene, then clearly their processes have failed,” he added.
John C. Foley, the president and CEO of KMCO, made a statement about the lawsuit.
“KMCO is working in close cooperation with the Fire Marshal, federal Chemical Safety Board and OSHA investigators to determine the accurate timeline and cause of last week’s tragic incident,” he said. “I can assure our team and the community that no investigation will be more thorough than our own. But until facts are known, any legal complaints should be considered unverified.”