A contract worker who was injured in a Texas City refinery fire earlier this month is suing Marathon Petroleum, an equipment provider and a manager at the refinery for about $1 million in damages.

Samuel Salache, a foreman at the Texas City refinery, filed suit on Friday against Marathon Petroleum, refinery manager Ray Brooks and Texas-based Innovative Ventilation Systems Inc. in a Texas district court.

The suit, filed by Brent Coon and Associates, alleges that Salache suffered “severe smoke inhalation and other potentially serious injuries” during the accident as he ensured his crew moved out of harms way.

Salache also alleges that a piece of smog busting equipment provided by Innovative Ventilation Systems “caused the initial spark” that ignited fumes and started the fire.

Marathon Petroleum has not disclosed the cause of the fire yet.

The suit also claims that the defendants failed to “provide [the] Plaintiff with a safe place to work” and failed to comply with “proper safety monitoring and control practices.”

Attorney Eric Newell of Texas-based Brent Coon & Associates told Reuters that Salache is seeking more than $1 million in damages.

At the time of the accident, Salache was employed by a contractor that was doing work on the facility, Reuters added.

Marathon Petroleum told Reuters it does not comment on litigation.

The other two defendants have not commented on the matter.

Three workers were injured during the January 11 fire at the 86,0000 barrel per day Texas City refinery.

One contract employee was flown to a burn center in Galveston and the two other workers were treated on-site for minor injuries and released.

It is unclear if Salache was among those three workers whose injuries were reported on after the blaze.

The affected unit was down at the time for planned maintenance and there were no reported impacts on the refinery’s operations.

According to Marathon, the refinery produces gasoline, chemical-grade propylene, propane, aromatics, dry gas, slurry and sulfur and employs about 275 employees people.


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