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Shepherd Chemical Plant Explosion: One Injured and Investigation Underway 

A black plume of smoke and haze remain in the sky near the Shepherd chemical plant explosion in Texas.

Undefeated Texas Plant Explosion Lawyers

An investigation is now underway to determine the cause of the Shepherd, Texas chemical plant explosion on November 7. The incident injured one worker, shut down local highways, forced San Jacinto County residents to shelter in place, and released a black plume of smoke all the way to Louisiana.  

Many questions still surround the condition of the injured worker and the cause of the massive explosion.  As investigations get underway, here’s what we know.  

One Person Injured in Chemical Plant Fire 

There were a total of 19 people working at the facility when the fire began shortly after 8 a.m., Reuters reports.  One worker suffered minor burns caused by the explosion and was stabilized at Memorial Medical Center.  

According to the Houston Chronicle, the injured person is an employee of the plant, which is owned by industrial chemical manufacturer Sound Resource Solutions.  

Investigators learned that this worker was operating a forklift when they noticed chemicals leaking from a container. They went to lift the container and noticed there was a fire.  

Chemical leaks and spills are key contributors to plant explosions. They introduce hazardous substances into the workplace environment. Should these chemicals come into contact with ignition sources or other incompatible substances, they may trigger uncontrolled chemical reactions, fires, and, ultimately, explosions. 

At this time, it is unclear if the fire was ignited before or after the lift took place. 

Flammable Substances Likely Caused the Explosion 

San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers told the Chronicle that investigators believe the explosion was caused by presence of turpentine or other volatile chemicals.   

The owner of the plant, which works in oil and gas, paint and coatings, and wastewater treatment, likened the chemicals they work with to highly-flammable diesel.  The facility reportedly hauls in 30 truckloads of raw materials each day to its 22-acre facility and ships out 30 more truckloads of finished goods including paint thinner and glue solvents. Common chemicals at its facilities include sulfuric acid, acetone, and petrochemicals like xylene and toluene. 

The Environmental Impact of the Explosion is Still Unclear 

State officials continue to monitor the environmental impact of the massive chemical plant explosion. The Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) deployed mobile units to the scene on November 7 to assess the air quality.  

A haze continues to linger in the area near the facility, but TCEQ has detected no levels of concern so far, reports local news outlet KHOU.  Their mobile units remain at the scene.  There are also no air quality impacts expected for Houston, according to the National Weather Service

Regardless, many questions remain about this horrific event and its environmental impact for residents who live nearby. The plant is reportedly working with officials to determine if any spills went outside of the facility, or if there was a liquid spill — where did it go and did it get into water? 

Undefeated Houston Chemical Plant Explosion Attorneys — Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consultation. 

When disasters like this happen, a thorough investigation is necessary to determine the cause and how the explosion could and should have been prevented.  

Our Undefeated Chemical Plant Explosion Attorneys have won the largest verdicts and settlements in history for injured plant and refinery workers, providing us with the experience and resources to take on the largest petrochemical companies in the world and not only win, but set records. 

If you have questions about your legal rights and options following the Shepherd Texas explosion, please call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here to send us a confidential email via our “Contact Us” form. Your consultation is entirely free and confidential.  

Our plant explosion attorneys will continue to monitor developments related to the Shepherd, Texas plant explosion and will post additional updates if new information becomes available.