Victim of industrial accident identified

Published 4:48 pm Saturday, September 5, 2015

A contract worker who died in an industrial accident at Total Port Arthur refinery on Saturday has been identified as Thomas Courts, 66, of Denton.

On Saturday, Sept. 5 at approximately 1:10 a.m., the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center received a 911 call in reference to an industrial incident at the Total Facility in the 7400 Block of 32nd Street in Port Arthur.

Upon arrival deputies were directed to the Coke Pits at the facility, where they learned that a bulldozer occupied by one individual had entered the Coke Pits and become submerged. The bulldozer was quickly removed by a co-worker that had witnessed the incident who called for assistance and utilized a track hoe to remove the bulldozer from the 200 degree byproduct waste water. Once removed from the water, the co-workers administered CPR to the victim with the assistance of Acadian Ambulance Service medics. The victim was pronounced deceased by Justice of the Peace Marc Derouen, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.

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PREVIOUS REPORTING: Kinder Morgan worker dies in bulldozer accident at Total

A contract worker died at Total early Saturday morning after the bulldozer he was working on fell into a high-temperature chemical liquid.

Marc DeRouen, Jefferson County Justice of the Peace for Precinct 2, said he was called to the Port Arthur refinery around 3 a.m. Saturday.

DeRouen said the man — whose name has not been released — was working on a bulldozer inside the refinery when the machine ended up in a pit filled with a chemical liquid heated between 180 and 200 degrees.

Another worker saw the bulldozer’s lights through the liquid and used his machine to pull out the bulldozer, DeRoun said, but the man inside was already dead.

DeRouen said the man was a Kinder Morgan worker. The name of the worker will not be released until his family is notified of the accident.

DeRouen has ordered an autopsy to determine cause of death.