A couple of explosions were heard on Thursday morning, while black smoke was rising from a chemical plant near Houston; another Harvey-related incident
The plants owner, Arkema Inc., said in a release that they were told about the explosions by Harris County Emergency Operations around 2 a.m. CDT. The entire area surrounding the plant, which produces organic peroxides, had already been evacuated. Moreover, Arkema said that they were going to continue to keep an eye on the area, along with local authorities.
Arkema’s CEO said that there was “no way to prevent” a possible explosion at the company’s Crosby, Texas facility, as it has been heavily flooded after Hurricane Harvey.
“We have an unprecedented 6 feet of water at the plant,” Arkema President and CEO Rich Rowe said in comments made Wednesday. “We have lost primary power and two sources of emergency backup power.
“As a result, we have lost critical refrigeration of the materials on site that could now explode and cause a subsequent intense fire. The high water and lack of power leave us with no way to prevent it,” he said.
Rowe added: “We have evacuated our personnel for their own safety. The federal, state and local authorities were contacted a few days ago, and we are working very closely with them to manage this matter. They have ordered the surrounding community to be evacuated, too.”
Residents within a 1.5-mile radius have been told to leave. Ted Poe, who represents the district that includes the chemical plant, named the situation “very dangerous”.