The Latest: Breach at Texas tank farm causes chemical spill

2 years 5 months 4 weeks ago Friday, March 22 2019 Mar 22, 2019 March 22, 2019 12:47 PM March 22, 2019 in News - AP Texas Headlines

HOUSTON (AP) - The Latest on a fire that had been burning at a Texas petrochemical storage facility (all times local):

1:45 p.m.

The company that operates a petrochemical tank farm near Houston says there's been a partial breach of a dike wall containing potentially hazardous liquids.

The breach occurred near a damaged tank that crews were working Friday to drain of chemicals that include benzene. The cleanup efforts came after a dayslong fire at the facility was put out on Wednesday.

Intercontinental Terminals Company spokesman Dale Samuelsen said the breach occurred shortly before 12:30 p.m.. He says the company has asked industrial neighbors and people at a nearby historical site to shelter in place. The surrounding town of Deer Park has not been told to shelter in place.

Samuelsen said workers didn't know what was in the liquids or how it would affect the ongoing process to pump liquid out of the tank.

12 p.m.

The company that operates a petrochemical tank farm near Houston where a dayslong fire damaged several tanks says it's working to remove flammable product without allowing dangerous emissions to again escape into the air.

Brent Weber with Intercontinental Terminals Company said during a news conference Friday that crews are pumping about 20,000 barrels of liquid out of a damaged tank.

He says foam will be repeatedly sprayed over the tank to avoid benzene from seeping into the air.

The tanks contained components of gasoline and materials used in nail polish remover, glues and paint thinner.

People living near the plant in Deer Park were told Thursday to remain indoors after air monitors detected elevated levels of benzene. The order was lifted later Thursday.

The fire began Sunday and was extinguished Wednesday.

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