At least 15 people were killed and more than 100 injured during an explosion at a BP oil refinery in Texas City, TX, on Wednesday, March 23, 2005. The blast occurred as part of the refinery was being brought back up to full production after a two-week shutdown for routine maintenance. The March 23 incident is not the first time Texas City, TX, has been home to disaster. On April 16, 1947, a ship blew up in the port on Galveston Bay and took nearly 600 lives. Read a report from NFPA's The Quarterly (PDF 1.6 MB), July 1947.U.S. petroleum refinery fires with three or more deaths (1985-2009)

Oil refinery fires that resulted in three or more deaths

Date State Number of deaths
May 1985 Louisiana 
December 1985 California 6
November 1998  Washington 
March 1991  Louisiana 
October 1995  Pennsylvania 
February 1999  California 
December 1985  Louisiana  
August 1993  Louisiana  
May 1986 Alabama 3
January 1999  Arkansas 

Source: NFPA’s Fire Incident Data Organization (FIDO) database


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