ITC Deer Park Petrochemical Fire Reignites Following Containment Dike Collapse
Smoke could be seen rising from the ITC Deer Park petrochemical plant this afternoon, after a fire that began on St. Patrick’s Day apparently reignited.
According to media reports, at least two tanks appear to be burning at the site roughly 15 miles southeast of Houston.
The Deer Park Office of Emergency Management reported the flare-up shortly before 5:00 p.m. So far, authorities have not ordered nearby residents to shelter-in-place.
Dike Collapsed at ITC Deer Park Plant Hours Before Flare-Up
Only hours earlier, the partial collapse of a containment dike at the ITC petrochemical plant resulted in a shelter-in-place order for nearby industrial sites, as well as the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site.
The U.S. Coast Guard also closed a section of the Houston Ship Channel from Tucker’s Bayou to light 116 to prevent any runoff from making its way into Galveston Bay.
According to ITC, the dike held back “product” released as a result of this week’s fire.
“We’re taking additional measures in an effort to contain the release,” an ITC statement said. “We are coordinating with federal, state and local officials to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”
ITC Was Attempting to Empty Leaking Benzene Tank
The partial collapse occurred around 12:15 p.m., near a tank that began leaking benzene fumes late Wednesday night.
ITC was apparently attempting to remove the last 20,000 gallons of benzene from that tank when the wall fell in. It’s not clear, however, if the containment dike held chemicals from the same tank.
In addition to being highly-flammable, benzene is a known carcinogen. Exposure to benzene can also cause dizziness, rapid or irregular heartbeat, unconsciousness, and death (at very high levels).
ITC Deer Park Fire Previously Burned for 4 Days
The ITC Deer Park petrochemical plant fire began on St. Patrick’s Day morning, and eventually engulfed 11 storage tanks on the 265-acre site. The blaze continued to burn for four days, creating a miles-long plume of smoke that hovered over much of the Metro Region.
In addition to benzene, the affected tanks stored xylene, toluene, naphtha and other hazardous chemicals used in the production of gasoline.
Although officials ordered Deer Park residents to shelter-in-place on Sunday, they lifted the directive the following day.
Since then, officials have issued repeated assurances that the air quality throughout the Houston Metro Region is safe. Yet hundreds of people have reported nose bleeds, headaches, and other symptoms likely related to the ITC petrochemical fire.
Contact Our Undefeated Plant Explosion Lawyers for a Free Consultation by Calling 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here
Our Undefeated Plant Explosion Lawyers are closely monitoring this afternoon’s flare-up at the ITC Deer Park petrochemical plant, and will continue to post updates as new information is made available.
In addition to being Undefeated, our Houston-based firm has won over $1 billion for thousands of clients throughout Texas and across the United States, including record-breaking settlements and verdicts for the victims of plant explosions and other catastrophic industrial accidents.
Call 1-888-603-3636 or click here to send us an email through our “Contact Us” form.
All consultations are free, and since we work exclusively on a contingency fee, you won’t owe us anything unless we win your case.