All Weather News

HARVEY LATEST: Fire at Houston Chemical Plant

31 Aug 2017, 8:05 am

Two explosions and black smoke were reported early Thursday at the Arkema Chemical plant about 25 miles northeast of Houston. The Crosby, TX plant lost power from Harvey flooding, causing the temperature of the chemicals to rise. The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office confirmed “a series of chemical reactions” that caused a fire.

In anticipation of the expected reaction, local officials issued a mandatory evacuation for a 1.5 mile radius. About a dozen deputies from the Harris County Sherriff’s Office went to the hospital as a precaution after being exposed to the fumes.

Officials are advising everyone to stay away from the area. The fire, which resembles an explosive, intense gasoline fire, is expected to burn itself out.

 

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzales said on August 30 that chemicals were released from a flood-damaged plant in Crosby because of a non-toxic “pop” rather than an explosion.

“This event had been expected and planned,” Gonzales said. “There were different organic peroxides of different grades that were released and it created a pop in the containers where they were being stored, and some gray smoke initially emanated from it and it turned into black smoke.”

“It is not anything toxic. It is not anything we think is a danger to the community at all,” he said. “It wasn’t an explosion; I want to be very clear.”

He also confirmed that eight of the 15 deputies earlier taken to hospital for smoke inhalation had been released, while 7 others were still being evaluated.

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