FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Updated: May 21, 2018, 4:00p.m. CDT
Contact: Kuraray America, Inc.
HOUSTON – Officials with Kuraray America, Inc. confirm that a fire occurred at the company’s EVAL™ facility in Pasadena, Texas, at the corner of Choate Road and Bay Area Boulevard at approximately 10:22 a.m. CDT on Saturday, May 19.
At the time of the incident, 266 employees and contract personnel were onsite as part of a turnaround with heavy maintenance activities. All were accounted for. Twenty-one individuals were transported to off-site medical facilities for treatment. As of today, eighteen have been released.
“We are keeping all of those that were injured or impacted by Saturday’s incident in our thoughts and prayers,” said Robert Armstrong, General Manager of the EVAL Division of Kuraray America, Inc.
The company is committed to understanding what caused this incident and is taking steps to prevent a recurrence. Preliminary indications are that the fire was caused by a release of ethylene from a polymerization reactor that found an ignition source. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) are on site and investigating the incident. We are cooperating fully with these investigations.
About Kuraray EVAL™
Kuraray is a globally recognized specialty chemical company that creates quality, sustainable solutions that strengthen products from a diverse range of industries. The company operates many subsidiaries around the world, including Kuraray America, Inc., which is headquartered in Houston. EVAL™ ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) resins have traditionally been used in household food packaging – from baby foods to shredded cheese. Additionally, this technology is applied every day in automotive plastic fuel tanks, pipes for floor heating systems, and agricultural fumigation films. For more information about Kuraray, visit www.kuraray.us.com.
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