An investigation is underway following an explosion and fire which injured two men at a tank facility at Port-of-Spain in Trinidad, owned by the Trinidad & Tobago National Petroleum Marketing Company (NP).
The explosion occurred at 12.54pm local time on 11 December 2020 on the southern side of the tank farm at Sea Lots, at NP’s head office. NP says that a contractor was extracting residual product from a storage tank as part of routine repair work. The fire was quickly contained and extinguished by Trinidad and Tobago Fire Services and the two injured workers taken to hospital. No other casualties were reported.
The Trinidad & Tobago Guardian reports that the force of the explosion took the roof off the tank and that flames and black smoke were shooting high into the air. The Loop reports that a 50-year-old man, who was closest to the explosion, suffered injuries to his face, both hands, femur, lower abdomen, and back, while a 61-year-old man suffered injuries to his lower back.
‘NP employs a robust maintenance system and we are working to determine the cause of the incident as we remain in contact with authorities at the scene. The safety of our employees and the communities in which NP operates remain the company’s top priority at this point and we will be providing further updates as they become available,’ says NP in a statement.
It is the second fire in as many weeks that has broken out during routine maintenance work on a tank. A major fire at Magellan Midstream Partners’ terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas, US, on 5 December 2020, injured seven men. Two of the men have now launched legal action against Magellan through law firm Kherkher Garcia, seeking damages for their ‘life-changing’ injuries.