Thursday, 20 Feb 2020

Hurricane Harvey: Explosions at flooded chemical plant in Texas

Texas [U.S.A.], August 31 : A French chemicals group Arkema on Thursday confirmed that two explosions took place at its plant in Texas's Crosby and said there was a risk of further explosions at the site.

"We want local residents to be aware that the product is stored in multiple locations on the site, and a threat of additional explosion remains," Arkema said in a statement.

"Please do not return to the area within the evacuation zone until local emergency response authorities announce it is safe to do so," it added.

According to The Telegraph, smoke and an explosion were reported today morning at the flood-hit chemical plant.

On Tuesday, the company has already evacuated the remaining workers at the damaged plant, and Harris County ordered the evacuation of people within a 2.4-kilometres radius of the plant.

One Sheriff's Deputy has been taken to the nearby hospital after he inhaled fumes from the explosion.

A company official had said earlier that Arkema SA expected chemicals to catch fire or explode in the coming days because the plant has lost power to its chemical cooling systems.

The company has said that it has chosen not to move chemicals before the storm but made wide preparations. The plant is 40 kilometers northeast of Houston, The Telegraph reported.

With heavy deluge from the Tropical Storm Harvey swallowing the entire Texas cities, the US military force has mobilized its warships and aircraft to help local law administration for the rescue operations.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has already activated the Texas National Guard, which comprises of nearly 12,000 troops, reported CNN.

State, local and military rescue units till now rescued thousands of stranded residents from the water and flooded homes.

Two US Navy warships, the USS Kearsarge and the USS Oak Hill, are being deployed to Texas, to quicken the relief and rescue process.

Both the warships have been loaded with disaster relief supplies, like water and food and a unit to help the victims of the catastrophic deluge in Texas.

US Northern Command deployed nine search-and-rescue helicopters, two fixed-wing aircraft and para-rescue teams to Joint Reserve Base, Fort Worth.

Meanwhile, the death toll in the catastrophic flooding due to Tropical storm Harvey has mounted to 24.

The number of suspected storm-related deaths in Harris County is 17 so far.

(ANI | 3 years ago)