Pinpointing the Cause

Officials are now assessing fire damage at a petroleum plant east of Houston — and trying to pinpoint the cause. Pat Hernandez has more.

An explosion that resulted in a massive fire happened just after noon Tuesday at Enterprise Products in Mont Belvieu, about 35-miles east of Houston. This is company spokesman Rick Rainey:

“We were able to cut off the fuel that was feeding the fire, so our workers were able to get in to the facility inside the perimeter, and have begun to assess the damage and try to determine what needs to be done to bring it back into service.”

Rainey says about ten employees were on site when the explosion occurred. One worker in the control room detected something abnormal shortly before the explosion and began shutting down lines.

“The other thing that we’re doing is that we are also finishing up our search for the missing worker. Right now, his whereabouts remain unknown.”

The blaze was at Enterprise’s west storage facility, which stores natural gas liquids. Rainey says a rupture may have occurred in one of the pipelines:

“That’s only one of the things we’re going to be looking at. But until we have a chance to go in and look at all of the information and all of the infrastructure, it’s too soon to really determine exactly what happened.”

Officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are also on site to help in finding the cause.

Plant Explosion in Mon Belvieu


For more pictures of the fire, visit the KHOU Ch.11 Website.