Arkema Chemical Plant: When Will The Houston Power Plant Explode?

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Arkema Chemical Plant: When Will The Houston Power Plant Explode?

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An Arkema chemical plant outside of Houston is at risk of exploding. The situation at this power plant in Crosby, Texas, is said to be “serious” according to a statement made by the company. The plant is at risk of catching fire and exploding.

Update (8/31/17; 3:13 P.M.): Blasts were reported from the Arkema chemical plant earlier Thursday. First responders to the explosions were treated at a local hospital and decontaminated and later released. Houston Methodist San Jacinto hospital in Baytown tended to 21 first responders as a result of the blasts, including 15 sheriff’s deputies. They were exposed to a 40-foot- (12-meter-) high smoke plume, so immediate medical attention was absolutely necessary for the officers.

On Wednesday, Arkema’s North American operations Chief Executive Rich Row said that the company has “no way to prevent” any potential explosion at the Crosby facility.

“We have an unprecedented 6 feet of water throughout the plant,” Rowe said in a teleconference on Wednesday, according to the Wall Street Journal. “We’ve lost primary power and two sources of emergency backup power. And as a result, critical refrigeration needed for our materials on site is lost. Materials could now explode and cause a subsequent and intense fire. The high water that exists on site, and the lack of power, leave us with no way to prevent it.”

The power plant had been hit hard as a result of Hurricane Harvey, particularly when it comes to flooding. The company reported that they “receiving approximately 40 inches (of water) by Monday afternoon.”

However, when Tuesday came around, the company said it didn’t think there was any “imminent danger,” but still warned of  “the potential for a chemical reaction leading to a fire and/or explosion within the site confines is real.”

According to the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office, residents within a 1.5 radius have already been asked to leave. If you live within a 1.5 mile radius of the Crosby power plant than you must evacuate the area or risk any and all consequences of a chemical plant explosion.

Local agencies are currently dealing with the situation at the facility in Crosby, Texas. They are being supported by the Environmental Protection Agency.

An EPA spokesperson said in a statement that, “We are aware of the situation and are working with TCEQ, who is the lead in this situation, to support them and other state and local officials to mitigate risk to human health or the environment.”

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is aware of the situation and is gathering information from news reports. That agency’s responsibility is to investigate and help clean up chemical accidents.

“The CSB is aware of the situation through news reports. We don’t have any other information other than what we are gathering from news reports. We are prepared to deploy to any incident that might result from Hurricane Harvey.”



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