Two Alcoa workers burned by chemicals remain hospitalized

Jennifer Lee Preyss By Jennifer Lee Preyss

Sept. 10, 2013 at 4:10 a.m.
Updated Sept. 11, 2013 at 4:11 a.m.

Two of five Alcoa employees burned by chemicals Monday night while cleaning a piece of equipment remain in the Blocker Burn Center in Galveston.

A hospital representative said Mike Brown and Javier Martinez were still receiving treatment for their injuries, which occurred about 5 p.m. Monday in what a company spokeswoman called the "digestion" area of the plant in Point Comfort.

Ages were not available, but Brown is thought to be in his late 30s, and Martinez is thought to be in his 50s.

Another female employee was transported by ambulance from the Point Comfort plant to Citizens Medical Center in Victoria. She was treated and released.

Two other plant employees suffered minor injuries and were treated at the plant on Monday, said Laurel Cahill, Alcoa communications and community affairs supervisor.

Amy Louviere, of The Mine and Safety Administration, said they were notified of the accident and are conducting an investigation. She explained that four employees and a supervisor were doing cleanup work "when a caustic liquid sprayed them."

Henry Barber, director of Calhoun Emergency Medical Services, said two ambulances were sent to the scene to assist the injured.

Brown was airlifted from the scene, and Barber said because the Victoria emergency air ambulance was occupied, the crew waited about 40 minutes for an additional helicopter to fly from Rosenberg to Alcoa.

Martinez was later taken to Galveston's Blocker Burn Center.

Alcoa began manufacturing activities in Calhoun County in 1948. It has the capacity to process 2.3 million metric tons of alumina per year. It has 600 employees residing in more than a dozen South Texas counties, according to the company's website.

Aluminum comes from alumina, which is oxide that occurs in nature, according to the Aluminum Association.

No additional names were available Tuesday.



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