April 23, 2018

Firefighters battle INFERNO after huge blast at Texas chemical plant

17 March 2018, 01:33 | Clyde Nash

NBC INFERNO An explosion and large fire at a North Texas chemical plant on Thursday morning

   INFERNO An explosion and large fire at a North Texas chemical plant on Thursday morning

The fire was reported at around 10 a.m. on Thursday.

Sheriff Roger Deeds told CBS 11 News that one person was missing and another badly injured in the blast that happened at Tri-Chem Industries, in the city of Cresson on State Highway 171. The other person's injuries were not as serious.

It wasn't immediately clear what types of chemicals are manufactured at the Tri-Chem Industries plant in Cresson, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Dallas. And in 2013, 15 people died in a fire at a fertilizer plant in West. They also say he "saw sparks" before the explosion.

'Things were blowing out of the roof, like metal lids on buckets, ' Jesse Bailey, who works next door, told the outlet. "Then, the fire. It smells like sulfur".

The mayor of Cresson says the plant brings in concentrated acids and soaps and other chemicals and dilutes them for customers. If Mitchell is still in the wreckage, he is believed to be dead, he said.

     BIG KABOOM Witnesses say they heard multiple explosions at the Tri Chem Industries Plant
NBC BIG KABOOM Witnesses say they heard multiple explosions at the Tri Chem Industries Plant

Cornett said Tri-Chem Industries mixes chemicals that are primarily used by the oil and gas industry to drill disposal wells, and that although he didn't know how numerous chemicals at the plant were hazardous, "what was burnt and exploded was quite toxic".

The Tri-Chem plant and a nearby lumber yard were evacuated.

The chemicals it mixes are mostly used by the oil and gas industry to drill disposal wells. Under the Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found multiple faults with the existing rules.

The materials are quite toxic, Cornett said, according to AP.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Hood County fire marshal's office haven't revealed what's in the plant's chemical inventory. Most recently, the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby had two explosions early in the morning on August 31, after having lost power for days following Hurricane Harvey's landfall.

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