The True Extent of the Damage From the Garyville Oil Refinery Fire Has Yet to Be Determined

August 31, 2023 Accident

The True Extent of the Damage From the Garyville Oil Refinery Fire Has Yet to Be Determined

People who do not live in Louisiana tend to assume that our economy is based entirely on tourism. The unmatchable food and music of New Orleans are world-famous, and the tourism industry does provide a lot of jobs. Tourism is not southeastern Louisiana’s only important industry, though. Louisiana’s petroleum resources are also a valuable source of income for our state. A recent fire at an oil refinery in an outer suburb of Louisiana threatens to create health hazards for the inhabitants of the surrounding area. If you have been injured in an industrial accident, contact a Louisiana personal injury lawyer.

Flames Rage for Three Days at Louisiana’s Newest Oil Refinery

The Garyville Refinery, owned and operated by the Marathon Petroleum Company, is located in St. John the Baptist Parish, in the outer reaches of the New Orleans Metropolitan area. It is the third largest oil refinery in the United States, and, having opened in 1976, it is also the newest oil refinery in the nation. It is the source of more than 1,000 jobs, including full-time employees and independent contractors.

All was well at the refinery for decades, but on a Friday morning in August 2023, a chemical leak caused a fire, resulting in a cloud of black smoke that could be seen from miles around. Authorities ordered the evacuation of people living within a two-mile radius of the refinery. Firefighters arrived promptly and were able to put out most of the flames by Friday afternoon. Despite this, firefighters remained on the premises for several days afterward, and as of Sunday, they were still putting out what the Times-Picayune website described as “small spot fires.”

Legal Issues Related to Industrial Accidents

Residents of the immediate vicinity of the Garyville Refinery may soon be able to return, and the refinery may soon be able to resume operations, but the results of an industrial disaster can be long-lasting and far-reaching. Fires, spills, and leaks can expose people in the areas near the site of the disaster to environmental pollutants, which can increase the risk of serious illnesses, some of which do not begin to show symptoms until years later. State and local governments should monitor levels of pollutants near disaster sites. If you were near the site of a major industrial disaster or a place where contaminants have been detected, you should document this and ask your doctor about screenings to determine your risk for diseases associated with exposure to environmental contaminants. If you are later diagnosed with an illness attributable to contamination from an industrial disaster, a personal injury lawyer can advise you about possible legal remedies.

Contact Mansfield Melancon Cranmer & Dick About Industrial Accident Cases

An industrial accident lawyer can help you understand your legal rights if you have been harmed by a major industrial accident near where you live or work. Contact Mansfield Melancon Cranmer & Dick Injury Lawyers in Louisiana, to discuss your case.