Seven men have been injured following a major fire at Magellan Midstream Partners terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas, US, on 5 December 2020, four of them critically.
Corpus Christi deputy fire chief Richie Quintero told a news conference streamed online that the Corpus Christi Fire Department received the first emergency call shortly before 10am local time, and dispatched the first units at 10.03am. The first responders found ‘heavy fire and heavy smoke’ in the storage tank area. The first injured man was transported to hospital at 10.13am and the last at 10.36am. One man was transported to a burns unit in San Antonio while the others were taken to local hospitals.
Mark Calhoun, the local operations manager for Magellan said that the fire started in an aboveground storage tank that was undergoing routine cleaning and maintenance. It contained some residual light crude oil. There are as yet no details as to what caused the fire. The Corpus Christi terminal has 6 million bbl of crude and condensate storage capacity and a 50,000 bpd splitter. Splitter operations were not affected.
The fire was extinguished shortly before 12 noon. The fire response was led by the Corpus Christi Fire Department with assistance from Annaville Fire Department, Nuecas County and the Refinery Terminal Fire Company, which specialises in hydrocarbon fires. Air monitoring showed that there was no impacting on air quality in the surrounding region and no neighbouring property was damaged. Operations at the Port of Corpus Christi were unaffected.
‘It’s a sad day for Magellan. The welfare of the men that were injured, and their families, is first and foremost in our minds, and I will reiterate what’s already been said, that our thoughts and prayers go out to those men and their families. I also want to say that we have the greatest appreciation and respect for those first responders that came out,’ Calhoun said at the news conference, adding: ‘We will absolutely fully cooperate with the investigation that will be ongoing and Magellan will also complete a thorough internal investigation as well.’