HOUSTON (June 12, 2008) — One employee was killed and six others hospitalized after an explosion at Goodyear's Houston emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) plant the morning of June 11.
The blast occurred at about 7:30 a.m., and damage was restricted to a small part of the facility, according to the company. A few hours after the explosion, officials investigating the site found the unnamed worker who had died.
The plant was in operation when the explosion occurred; 200 workers were evacuated and the local fire department responded. The injured employees were treated by the plant's medical staff and taken to local hospitals, according to Goodyear.
The cause of the incident has yet to be determined, the company said. An ammonia leak was reported at the site, but it is not known if it caused the explosion.
The Goodyear spokesman said it is unknown at this time if the accident will cause a supply problem.
“As far as we know, the majority of the plant is continuing to operate,” he said. “It was just the little area that was affected by the incident this morning that was off line.”
The official said Goodyear—which uses the emulsion SBR produced at the site for tire production—doesn't anticipate having to turn to other sources of supply.