Port Neches Texas Residents Forced To Evacuate After Plant Explosion

An explosion at a chemical plant in Texas forced the evacuation of residents as dangerous chemicals burned in the uncontained fire.
Donna Fuscaldo

Residents of Port Neches, Texas were ordered to evacuate earlier Wednesday (27 November) after an explosion at a chemical plant left at least three workers injured. 

According to the company, a chemical fire was still burning at the TPC Group plant, which is located 90 miles outside of Houston. 

In a statement to the media the Port Neches Police Department said there was extensive damage to the city and urged residents to stay off the road near any refineries in the town.


Dangerous chemical burning in the plant fire 

The local Police Department said butadiene, a colorless gas that's considered to be hazardous to the health of people is burning in the fires caused by the explosion.  The chemical is used to make synthetic rubber and plastics, noted CNN. Windows on some of the homes in the tiny Texas town were blown out as a result of the explosion. The plant makes products used by petroleum and chemical companies. 

On its website TPC Group said the explosion occurred at 1:00 a.m. on 27 November resulting in the injuries to two employees and one contractor at the site. All three have been transported to Southeast Texas Regional Medical Center and to Memorial Hermann in Houston for treatment. 

TPC doesn't know what caused the explosion 

"Emergency responders are still working to bring the event under control, and are doing so as quickly and safely as possible. Teams have been dispatched to conduct air monitoring along the fence line of the facility and in surrounding neighborhoods through mutual aid," the company wrote in an update on its website. "At this time, we cannot speak to the cause of the incident or the extent of damage, but TPC is assembling a team to conduct a full and thorough investigation."

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The company said it is "sincerely" focused on protecting the safety of responders to the explosion and the public and to minimize the environmental impact from the incident. 

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