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Two Explosions Reported at Flooded Arkema Chemical Plant in Crosby Following Hurricane Harvey


A fire has broken out at Arkema Group’s flooded chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, after two explosions were heard at the facility located just 20 miles outside of Houston.

Company officials had been warning since Tuesday that chemicals stored at the Arkema plant would likely catch fire and explode, prompting the evacuation of workers and residents within a 1.5-mile radius of the plant.

According to Reuters, the Arkema chemical plant produces organic liquid peroxides used in plastics. The facility has been inundated with more than 40 inches of floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey, and has been without electric power since Sunday. The plant’s generators have also been flooded.

No Way to Prevent Arkema Plant Explosion

Chemicals used at the Arkema plant must be kept at a low temperature, but the facility lost refrigeration when it lost power. While workers did transfer the chemicals to diesel-powered refrigerated containers, flooding from Harvey eventually compromised some of that refrigeration.

The situation became even more grim on Wednesday, when Richard Rowe, Arkema’s CEO for North America told reporters that the chemicals in the plant could catch fire and explode sometime in the next six days, as temperatures rise.

“We have an unprecedented 6 feet of water at the plant,” Rowe said. “We have lost primary power and two sources of emergency backup power.

“As a result, we have lost critical refrigeration of the materials on site that could now explode and cause a subsequent intense fire. The high water and lack of power leave us with no way to prevent it,” he said.

Arkema Chemical Plant Remains Dangerous, More Explosions Possible

Arkema Group has now confirmed that two explosions were heard at the Crosby, Texas chemical plant around 2:00 a.m. Thursday. According to NBC News, a plume of smoke was seen rising from the facility. The fire will be allowed to “burn itself out.”

A spokesperson for Arkema told NBC that the chemicals being released by the blaze are not dangerous to people, though the smoke may affect some. However, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) characterized the plume as “incredibly dangerous.”

At least 15 Harris County law enforcement officers who responded to the Arkema chemical plant explosion were hospitalized after they experienced headaches and dizziness.

The situation remains dangerous.

“We want local residents to be aware that product is stored in multiple locations on the site, and a threat of additional explosion remains,” Arkema’s statement said. “We have been working closely with public officials to manage the implications of this situation.”

Area residents are being warned to stay away from the evacuation zone.

Hurricane Harvey Leads to Emergencies at Texas Plants, Refineries, & Pipelines

Emergency situations have also been reported at other industrial plants, refineries, and pipelines throughout the Texas hurricane zone.

ExxonMobil acknowledged on Tuesday that a roof collapse at its Baytown oil refinery had caused a release of hazardous pollutants.  Harvey also damaged a sulfur thermal oxidizer at ExxonMobil’s Beaumont petrochemical plant, resulting in the release of 1,312.84 pounds of sulfur dioxide.

A leak at a pipeline operated by Oklahoma-based Williams Co. led to a shelter-in-place order for residents of La Porte, Shoreacres, and Baytown on Monday evening.

Over $1 Billion Won for Plant and Refinery Explosion Victims

Our Plant Explosion Lawyers recently negotiated a highly favorable and confidential settlement for more than 60 workers injured in the Williams Olefins Plant Explosion in Geismar, Louisiana are also representing the families of 3 of the 4 workers killed in the Williams Gibson Pipeline Explosion.

Questions about the Arkema Chemical Plant Explosions? Contact Our Undefeated Plant Explosion Lawyers at 1-888-603-3636 or by Clicking Here.

If you have any questions about the Arkema Chemical Plant explosions, our Undefeated Plant Explosion Lawyers are available to help.  Just call 1-888-603-3636 or click here to send us a confidential email.