Injured After Explosion at Texas Chemical Plant

Injured After Explosion at Texas Chemical Plant

TPC Group, the operator of the Port Neches Operations site said that an explosion occurred at a processing unit at the plant. Branick told KFDM those injuries were minor, and there are no reports of fatalities.

The blast, at 01:00 local time (07:00 GMT) on Wednesday, was felt 30 miles (48km) away.

At least two people have been taken to hospital, a spokeswoman for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office told the New York Times.

The local Nederland Volunteer Fire Department said a mandatory evacuation had been ordered for everyone living within a 1/2 mile radius of the plant. People woke up from the blast, some reported smashed windows and doors unhinged from the explosion.

Pictures and video from the scene show a huge fireball lighting up the night sky and pumping out potentially toxic smoke. Damage has been reported to homes in the area and neighboring Orange County. Calls to the TPC Group went unanswered.

"The event is on going, but will be brought under control as quickly and safely as possible", TPC officials said in a statement early Wednesday.

A mandatory evacuation zone is in place for everyone within half a mile of the site. "We have accounted for all site personnel and 3 personnel have sustained injuries and are being treated", TPC Group said in its first update on the incident.

'Right now our focus is on protecting the safety of responders and the public, and minimizing any impact to the environment'.

More than 200 people work at the facility, according to TPC Group's company website.

The plant produces butadiene, a colorless gas used to make synethetic rubber and plastics as well as other chemicals.

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