Houston explosion at manufacturing plant rattles house miles away

Houston explosion at manufacturing plant rattles house miles away

Earlier, CNN reported a fiery explosion erupted at about 4:15 am, adding that many people felt buildings shake.

Manny Jawa, a volunteer with the Houston office of the American Red Cross, said his agency had helped about 100 people who came to an evacuation shelter that had been set up around 6 a.m. Friday at a church near the blast site.

KHOU, citing fire department officials, reported that one person was hospitalized. "And then I realized there was no storm", the resident told KTRK. "We're going to be out here for several days", Peña said.

A video posted to Twitter from a camera mounted to a window facing the area of the explosion showed a large flash of light followed by flames. The nearest neighborhoods, Westbranch and Carverdale, were damaged most severely, Acevedo said. At one man's home about 1/4 mile (0.4 kilometers) away, glass doors were shattered, ceilings were cracked, and the lid of his toilet was even torn off, the station reported.

Almost every house in the area had extensive damage, including shattered windows and damaged garage doors, the local KPRC 2 TV news channel reported on its website. A small, contained area at the Watson Grinding and Manufacturing site was still on fire, he said, adding that fire officials have made a decision to let it burn out on its own.

The owner of the facility told Eyewitness News the explosion originated from a propylene tank.

"We've assessed between 180, 190 at this point".

Acevedo asked people as far as a mile (1.6 km) away to search their yards and neighbourhoods for evidence.

"This is a disaster", he said. "Word to the wise - do not get caught looting because it will not be a slap on the wrist".

Officials say they are in contact with the family of the missing person.

Brady said the explosion was extremely loud.

Aerial video showed the shredded and collapsed wreckage of the Watson Grinding and Manufacturing building smoldering but no longer flaming, along with widespread damage to area homes and businesses from the force of the blast.

On social media, some locals who live miles away said the explosion woke them up in the early morning hours. Nearby roads were being closed, and Acevedo said that would last into Saturday. Pena said there were no reports of hazardous air quality, based on monitoring done by a hazardous materials team.

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