Fire erupts at Texas chemical plant; possible injuries

4 years 10 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, April 02 2019 Apr 2, 2019 April 02, 2019 12:11 PM April 02, 2019 in News - AP National

Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) - A fire erupted at a Houston-area chemical plant on Tuesday, injuring two workers, leaving one accounted for and sending a plume of thick, black smoke into the air, authorities said.

The Harris County Fire Marshal's Office said in a tweet that early reports indicated two people were injured and a third one could not be located.

Authorities shut down a roadway near Tuesday's fire at a KMCO chemical plant in Crosby, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Houston suburb, Harris county Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said in a tweet.

All residents within a one-mile radius of the plant were ordered to stay indoors or shelter in place.

The county fire marshal's office said that a warehouse at the plant was on fire and officials were "trying to determine what products are involved."

Messages left with KMCO were not immediately returned.

Thick plumes of black smoke could be seen rising from the plant.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said that it has dispatched emergency response personnel to conduct an initial assessment of the fire.

The fire comes about two weeks after a March 17 blaze at a petrochemical storage facility in Deer Park, located about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Crosby. That earlier fire burned for days and triggered air quality warnings.

According to its web site, KMCO is a chemical company that offers coolant and brake fluid products and chemicals for the oilfield industry.

The Crosby, Sheldon and Channelview school districts have asked students and staff to shelter in place at all their campuses.

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