Plant Blast: It could have been worse

Two people were injured after a massive explosion at an industrial plant in Seabrook southeast of Houston. The blast sent a plume of smoke that could be seen for miles. A shelter-in-place order was issued for areas near the blast site. Pat Hernandez has more.

Joe Goins The explosion happened before nine a.m. at the American Acryl production facility at Port Road near old Texas 146. Joe Goins is General Manager of the plant. He says the blast involved a toxic substance that can cause nausea.

“Toluene is a common industrial solvent. We do not believe there were any off-site impact. Our monitoring has confirmed that there was no off-site impact either through air or through water.”

He says there were 10-15 people at the plant at the time of the explosion. Two workers suffered minor injuries and were taken to Memorial Hermann SE where they were initially listed in good condition.

Seabrook Police Lt. Sean Wright : “Once we received the call, it was determined that an explosion had occurred at this facility. We set up a perimeter, diverted traffic, and the city issued a shelter in place.”

Seabrook Police Lt. Sean WrightThat’s Lt. Sean Wright with the Seabrook Police Department. He says the situation could’ve been a lot worse:

“Speaking only on behalf of the city of Seabrook, it could have been. I think all the parties involved handled it well. I can’t speak to the injuries that occurred on site, but its something we prepare for, and we responded quickly, with the assistance of the Harris County Precinct-8 constables and the highway patrol.”

Emergency crews brought the situation under control about an hour after the blast. The cause is now under investigation, and centered at the tank that exploded containing the petroleum by-product used in paint and gasoline.


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