Houston contract worker killed in accident at Valero’s St. Charles Refinery

03/08/2011 // Greensboro, NC, USA // Personal Injury Lawyers News // Nicole Howley

St. Charles Parish, LA — A Houston contract worker has died following an accident at Valero’s St. Charles Refinery on Sunday, March 7, 2011. The fatal construction accident occurred at around 6 p.m., at Norco refinery, as reported by NOLA.com.

According to Louisiana State Police officials, Victor Rodriguez, 30, of Houston died late Sunday after being rushed to the hospital.

Rodriguez and another contractor were reportedly working in the refinery’s millisecond catalytic cracking unit with one man acting as a safety man, while the other was grinding metal.

The surviving worker, Joseph Barr, 28, of Mansura, revealed to officials that he believed he smelled hydrogen sulfide and immediately began an evacuation of the construction site. Barr reportedly passed out from the fumes while trying to evacuate the area. When he regained consciousness he was half way down a ladder guard, while Rodriguez was on the ground level.

Emergency rescue crews from the refinery’s emergency response team rushed the two workers to the hospital for treatment. On Monday, Barr was released from River Parishes Hospital in Laplace.

The Louisiana State Police Emergency Services Unit is working with the St. Charles Parish Coroner’s Office to determine Rodriguez’s cause of death. Investigators stated that he did sustain a head trauma, but they are unsure whether he died from the exposure or the fall.

Both workers were wearing monitors, which indicated they had been exposed to hydrogen sulfide.

The two contract workers were reportedly employed by Koch Specialty Plant Services.

A full investigation into the fatal construction accident is underway.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for construction accident lawyers.

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