The few explanations that Iqoxe executives have given about the explosion and subsequent fire that destroyed their plant at the Tarragona petrochemical estate last Tuesday show that the cause of the accident, which has left three fatalities, was “the explosion of the tank “. José Luis Morlanes, executive director of the company, affirmed it yesterday. But the question remains about what exactly caused the deflagration of the reactor, something that now focuses the investigations that coordinate the Mossos d’Esquadra and the Firefighters. Listening to the version of the employees who were at the plant at the time of the accident will be decisive to bring light on the case. The plant director and the shift manager are the two operators who died as a result of the explosion, but there were at least twenty employees working at the company’s facilities, according to Iqoxe director Juan Manuel Rodriguez Prats. Felipe Rendón is the youngest of Iqoxe employees. He is 25 years old and has barely been in the company for three months, where he began doing a period of study practices and stayed after signing a contract to cover a leave. Speaking to the RAC1 station, Felipe Rendón has revealed that just before the explosion he heard a “very loud” noise, similar to the whistle of “a pressure cooker.”
The operator says that “at no time” he thought the situation was high risk or suspected that the reactor was going to explode imminently: “I went to warn that it was making a lot of noise.” He didn’t have time to get to the control room to give the warning voice: “I walked ten meters and it was when I saw the flash”, he recalls. Felipe Rendón lay on the floor while he noticed that his skin was burning: “I felt like my head was melting,” he explained. He barely noticed that he had a piece of metal stuck in his head. The shrapnel that had fired the shock wave had hit him full and it was necessary to operate it urgently on Tuesday night at the Joan XXIII Hospital in Tarragona. The next day he was transferred to the Vall d’Hebron Hospital in Barcelona, where he is waiting to be intervened for the burns he has in his hand.
Labor Inspectorate of the Generalitat has opened two dossiers to Iqoxe chemistry. This was explained by the Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Families of the Generalitat, Chakir el Homrani, in statements to the media: “We will work to clarify the causes and responsibilities of a very serious accident in which dead and injured were recorded. We want go to the bottom. “
The director has also revealed that Labor had already sanctioned Iqoxe four times in recent years, with fines of between 2,000 and 8,000 euros, for breaches of the regulations. One of these sanctions was imposed for breach of working conditions and the other three for breaches of health and safety at work.
Homrani has explained that the department activated the Guard Labor Inspection just when the explosion occurred last Tuesday, although Inspection specialists have not been able to access the company because its facilities are confined until the emergency bodies finish their intervention and certify that your access is safe.
He has acknowledged that the process will be “long and complex” because of the state in which the Iqoxe facilities have remained, although he has warned that they will end up knowing the causes and responsibilities.