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Health Complaints Mount Across the Houston Metro Area as IFC Deer Park Plant Continues to Burn


With the ITC Deer Park petrochemical plant fire now on its third day, a growing number of Houston-area residents are reporting nose bleeds, headaches, and other symptoms that appear to be related to the plume of thick, black smoke that continues to billow throughout the sky.

No Timetable for Extinguishing ITC Deer Park Plant Fire

The ITC fire has been burning since St. Patrick’s Day, when two chemical tanks ignited on the 265-acre petrochemical storage terminal located just 15 miles southeast of Houston. By late Sunday night, the fast-moving inferno had engulfed six additional tanks, forcing firefighters to maintain a defensive position to prevent it from spreading further.

After crews managed to contain the blaze to just six tanks on Monday, Harris County emergency officials suggested that the fire would burn itself out by Wednesday. But those hopes evaporated overnight, after malfunctioning fireboats caused water pressure to drop for more than six hours. The fire intensified, allowing flames to reach two additional storage tanks and obliterating any definitive timetable.

“Fuel has burned off,” Harris County Fire Marshall Laurie Christensen said during a Tuesday morning news conference. “That may be what has to happen. What I can’t tell you is how long that will take.”

ITC’s “Claims Process” Bars Individuals from Filing Lawsuits to Recover Medical Expenses and Lost Wages

Plant workers and Houston-area residents are now reporting breathing problems, itchy eyes, burning throats, headaches, nose bleeds, and other symptoms consistent with respiratory exposure to toluene, xylene, and naphtha – three of the known chemicals released from the ITC Deer Park petrochemical plant fire.

According to The Houston Chronicle, these three chemicals may cause a number of long-term health problems, including cancer, brain and central nervous system damage, and liver and kidney problems.

ITC is apparently asking anyone who suffered injuries or losses stemming from the Deer Park petrochemical fire to sign a Claim Form and participate in its recently-announced compensation program.

While ITC would like it to appear that they’re going out of their way to assist the victims of this continuing disaster, Page 4 of the Form states that anyone who receives ANY compensation from ITC waives their rights to recover their medical expenses, lost wages, or any other damages that they’ve suffered as a result of the fire.

As a result, anyone who accepts $1 or more through ITC’s “claims process” will be PERMANENTLY BARRED from later filing a lawsuit to hold the company responsible for serious medical conditions that develop in the future, including cancer, chronic respiratory distress, and any other serious (or even fatal) conditions.

TCEQ Denies Deer Park Petrochemical Fire Poses Any Health Risks

Despite the hazardous chemicals released from the ITC Deer Park petrochemical plant fire, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) denies that the clouds of smoke currently floating over the Houston Metro Region pose any health risks.

Environmental groups remain unconvinced, however, and insist that neither the Commission nor ITC have released enough data to back those claims.

“They’re asking us to trust their professional judgment, and they’re giving us zero reason to believe that’s true,” Elena Craft, a senior health scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund, told the Texas Tribune.

According to many health experts, it’s probably best to limit time outside while the ITC Deer Park fire continues to burn. That’s especially true for senior citizens, young children, and anyone with a respiratory condition.

Those who must spend longer periods out-of-doors should drink plenty of water to flush any dangerous chemicals from their system.

Affected By the ITC Deer Park Fire? Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consult with Our Undefeated Plant Explosion Lawyers.

Our Undefeated Plant Explosion Attorneys continue to monitor the ITC Deer Park petrochemical plant fire and will post additional updates when new information becomes available.

In addition to being undefeated, our Houston-based personal injury lawyers have won over $1 billion and successfully represented thousands of people throughout Texas and across the United States after catastrophic plant explosions and fires.

If you have questions about the Deer Park plant fire or the ITC Claim Process, please call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here to send us a confidential email via our “Contact Us” form.

All consultations are free, and since we only work for a contingency fee, you’ll owe nothing unless we win your case.