Houston Area Chemical Company Warns of Impending Plant Explosion

August 30, 2017Aug 30, 2017

The Hill reports that the CEO of an industrial chemical company is warning that there is no way to prevent a large explosion and fire at their Houston area plant, which is currently flooded after Hurricane Harvey. 

The Arkema plant located near Houston is currently sitting in the middle of floodwaters that has destroyed its primary and two backup power generators. 

“We have an unprecedented 6 feet of water at the plant,” Arkema President and CEO Rich Rowe said according to ABC News. “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."

The Houston Chronicle reports that, "Materials could now explode and cause subsequent and intense fire. The high water that exists on site, and the lack of power, leave us with no way to prevent it." 

All residents within a 1.5 mile radius of the plant have been evacuated and moved to safer ground. The plant is expected to explode within six days.

The Environmental Protection Agency is supporting local agencies in dealing with the situation, reports ABC News. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board – the federal agency that cleans up chemical accidents – is also aware of the situation.

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