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Worker dies following Southeast Texas refinery fire

Last week, we wrote about a fire at an Exxon Mobil refinery in Beaumont, Texas, that left 12 contract workers injured. Yesterday, it was reported that one of the workers died as a result of his injuries.

The death was confirmed by a spokesperson from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. The spokesperson said the worker died Saturday afternoon as the result of the critical injuries he sustained in the April 17 refinery fire.

The deceased worker was one of seven contractors who were hospitalized with burn injuries after the industrial accident. Five other workers were treated and released from medical facilities. The hospital spokesperson said two workers remain in critical condition and two others are listed in fair condition. 

Officials are now working to uncover the cause of the fire at the ExxonMobil refinery. In a statement, a company spokesperson said the fire was caused after hydrocarbons were released from a heat exchange and then ignited. The eqiptement had reportedly been down for maintenance at the time. 

It will be extremely important that officials take the investigation into their own hands as companies often have reason to hide the true cause of workplace accidents. Some companies choose to cover up the true cause of accidents becuase they fear reprimand from OSHA or personal injury lawsuits on behlaf of those who were injured or killed.

However, for the sake of the workers involved and their families, it's essential that companies be held accountable for workplace hazards and violations that lead to accidents.

Source: KWTX.com, "Worker Injured In Texas Refinery Fire Dies," April 29, 2013

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