Worker at Exxon refinery killed by falling pipe- Texas sheriff's office

Reuters News
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Posted: May 12, 2016 8:16 PM

HOUSTON (Reuters) - A 37-year-old Brownsville, Texas, man was killed after being struck in the head and neck early on Wednesday by a falling 6-foot-long, 6-inch-diameter pipe while working at Exxon Mobil Corp's Beaumont, Texas refinery, a sheriff's office spokesman said on Thursday.

Miguel Barron was on an elevated platform working on a heat exchanger when he was struck by the pipe at about 12:30 a.m. CDT (1.30 a.m. ET) Wednesday, said Deputy Marcus McLellan, public information officer for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

Barron was initially treated by the refinery's emergency medical personnel but had died by the time Jefferson County deputies arrived at about 1:30 a.m., McLellan said.

An Exxon spokesman declined on Thursday to discuss the accident.

Barron was an employee of AltairStrickland, a subsidiary of Emcor Group Inc, that specializes in refinery and chemical plant unit overhauls and revamps.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends, colleagues and loved ones of the employee of AltairStrickland who was fatally injured early Wednesday morning," said Mava Heffler, vice president of marketing and communications for Emcor.

U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators have been sent to the refinery, said Juan Rodriguez, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Labor in Houston.

AltairStrickland is working on a planned overhaul of the Beaumont refinery's small crude distillation unit.

A Beaumont law firm announced on Thursday the agreed settlement of a lawsuit stemming from a 2013 fire at the refinery that killed two workers.

The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, said Robert Tharp, a spokesman for the law firm of Provost Umphrey, which brought the suit against the companies on behalf of the families or the two men.

(Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Diane Craft)