West Explosion Responder Arrested for Pipe Bomb

A paramedic who was among the first responders to last month’s West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion has been arrested for being in possession of a pipe bomb. So far, police are not disclosing whether his arrest is linked to the April 17 explosion, which killed 14 people, injured dozens more, and destroyed numerous homes in the small town north of Waco.

Bryce Reed was arrested after he admitted that explosive materials found on April 26 belonged to him. Police were alerted of these materials by an unsuspecting man who said Reed gave them to him.

While investigators were initially treating the explosion as an industrial accident, they opened their investigation up to include the possibility that it was a criminal act shortly after.

The investigation into Reed has turned up some rather unusual behavior from him, especially in the few weeks after the deadly explosion.

With the fear of domestic bombings gaining fuel in the United States, Reed will need an experienced attorney defending him from the severe charge possession of a destructive device he is facing.

Preventing a Refinery Accident is Cost Effective

There has been a lot on the news about the Chevron refinery accident that occurred in Richmond recently. This is mainly because Chevron was allegedly negligent in ensuring worker safety and facilities maintenance in the plant despite repeated warnings and internal recommendations to beef up these measures.

The incident brings back the well-known 2005 BP refinery accident in Texas that claimed 15 lives and injured 170 others. The key complaint by more than 300 plaintiffs against BP was their failure to adopt safety measures in the interest of cost cutting. The claims apparently have merit because BP has been consistently fined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration millions of dollars for numerous safety violations since the 2005 incident.

And now BP is facing even larger claims for the Deep Water Horizon oil spill which claimed 11 lives and thousands of people affected by the economic and environmental impact of the disaster. The running bill to date for BP is surely higher than the cost of adequate safety measures that would have prevented both the refinery accident and oil spill. And the personal injury claims and regulatory sanctions will probably mount up in the future.

Wouldn’t it have been more cost effective for BP (and most probably for Chevron now as well as other petroleum companies) to ensure the safety of workers and protect the environment?

Never mind the moral and ethical imperative that should have prompted these measures in the first place. Nobody really expects big businesses to care about the little people. But from the purely financial perspective, it seems that the big players in the petroleum industry need to learn some lessons. One wonders how many more accidents it would take to bring home the wisdom of prevention.

If you or someone you know has been injured or suffered losses due to a refinery accident in Texas, contact an experienced refinery accident lawyer in the area. It is your responsibility to drive home these lessons and to get back some of that which has been lost.