Officials with Kuraray America Inc. confirmed that a fire occurred at its EVAL facility in Pasadena, Texas, on May 19. According to the company, 21 employees were transported to off-site medical facilities for treatment. Preliminary findings indicate a pressure safety valve released ethylene, causing a flash fire in one of the process units. The company continues to work with authorities to complete the investigation.
As a result of the incident, a four-person investigative team from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) was deployed to the scene. The facility manufactures ethylene vinyl-alcohol copolymers. Kuraray America is a Tokyo-based specialty chemical manufacturer.