Too Soon for Probe of Pasadena, Texas, Oil Plant Blast, Officials Say : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Too Soon for Probe of Pasadena, Texas, Oil Plant Blast, Officials Say

Source: Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News Publication date: Apr 14, 2000

(By Ruth Rendon, Houston Chronicle )

Apr. 14--A local district attorney's investigation into the deadly March 27 explosion at the [Phillips Petroleum Co.] Pasadena plant would be premature, a prosecutor said Thursday. State Sen. Mario Gallegos, D-Galena Park, asked District Attorney John B. Holmes, Texas Attorney General John Cornyn and the U.S. Attorney's office to investigate the blast that killed one worker and injured 74.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Mervyn Mosbacher said the request had been received. However, she said, it is against policy to comment about whether an investigation is planned.

Cornyn's office referred the matter to the Harris County District Attorney's office because it does not have criminal jurisdiction, spokeswoman Heather Brown said.

Roger Haseman, chief of environmental crimes division for the district attorney's office, said Holmes responded to the senator, saying it would be premature for his department to investigate the blast until the Occupational, Safety and Health Administration and the FBI complete their investigations.

"Our position is to let the federal agencies that are currently investigating the incident conduct their investigations," he said.

Once those investigations are completed, Haseman said, his office will review their findings and conclusion as to what caused the explosion and "then take a look to see if there is any evidence at all of criminal wrongdoing" that might require a grand jury investigation.

OSHA has six months to complete its investigation. -----

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Publication date: Apr 14, 2000 ) 2000, NewsReal, Inc.

-- Carl Jenkins (, April 19, 2000

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