Texas Chemical Plant At Risk Of Explosion, Evacuates Residents Nearby

Texas Chemical Plant At Risk Of Explosion, Evacuates Residents Nearby”

Hurricane Harvey's heavy rains and associated flooding had swamped the chemical plant in recent days, knocking out primary and backup power systems.

"It is not anything toxic", Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said in a news conference, "it is not anything that we feel is a danger to the community at all". At that, there surely was no way to prevent an explosion and the company did warn of it. However it warned that extremely flammable products are stored in "multiple locations on the site" and further explosions could still happen.

All employees left the site earlier this week.

"You could call this a warning sign that more explosions or fires could be coming soon", Jeff Carr, a spokesman for Arkema, told the Houston Chronicle. Arkema said

While no casualties were reported after the explosions, one Harris County deputy was hospitalized after he inhaled fumes from the plant.

The first of those incidents happened in the early hours of Thursday morning, August 31., when the Arkema chemical plant saw two explosions caused by Harvey's flooding.

All residents within a 1.5 mile radius of the Crosby plant had been evacuated prior to today's explosions.

On Thursday, Arkema's chief executive Rich Rowe said there was "no way to prevent" an explosion. But Harvey's historic flooding had stripped the plant of power since Sunday. In the statement, the company also adds that the best course of action right now is to let the fire burn itself out. Arkema had already evacuated workers, and local authorities had cleared the area prior to the blow.

Arkema is now monitoring the situation remotely.

The company said it opted not to move chemicals before the storm but made extensive preparations. KHOU also reported that officials believe the 1.5-mile evacuation zone surrounding the plant that is now in place will be sufficient.

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