Explosion at Houston area chemical plant that lost power during the floods
A Houston-area chemical plant that lost power after Harvey engulfed the area in extensive floods was rocked by two explosions early Thursday, the plant’s operator said.The material that exploded was a type of peroxide used in pharmaceuticals and construction. With the inability to keep the mixture cooled the explosion was seen as inevitable.
Arkema Inc. said in a statement on its website that the Harris County Emergency Operations Center reported two explosions and black smoke coming from the plant at about 2 a.m.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said in a tweet that a deputy was taken to the hospital after inhaling fumes. Nine other deputies drove themselves to the hospital as a precaution.
The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office said there had been “a series of chemical reactions” at the plant and advised people to stay away from the area.
A spokeswoman for the plant in Crosby, Texas, said late Wednesday that the flooded facility had lost power and backup generators due to the flooding, leaving it without refrigeration for chemicals that become volatile as the temperature rises. The plant is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Houston.