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It Was After Midnight in Texas. Then, a 'Shock Wave'

Chemical plant explosion injures at least 3, rocks homes of locals
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2019 7:21 AM CST
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The blast's aftermath at the Port Neches plant.   (YouTube/KHOU 11)

(Newser) – "Say some prayers." That was the Facebook post from one Texas resident after a chemical plant exploded early Wednesday. The New York Times reports the blast took place in Port Neches at the Texas Petroleum Chemical plant, which produces the colorless gas butadiene—a noted health hazard, per CNN—and other fuel products. A TPC statement says the explosion happened around 1am. A rep for Texas' Emergency Management office says at least three people were hurt, all apparently plant workers: One came out of it with a broken arm, while a second suffered burns. It's not clear what injuries the third person sustained, but they've already been treated and released from the hospital, per the rep.

All employees have been evacuated from the plant. "The event is ongoing but will be brought under control as quickly and safely as possible," TPC notes. NBC News rounds up other locals' reactions, with reports of blown-in doors and windows, as well as doorknobs shooting across the room. "The shockwave felt like my house got hit by a wrecking ball," one resident says. The Times, which says the blast left "the night sky orange with fire," notes oil-soaked Texas has been the site of multiple explosions and fires at chemical plants over the past few years, including several blazes in the Houston area. The fire department in Nederland posted online that a mandatory evacuation was in place for anyone within a half-mile of the TPC plant, per KHOU 11. (Read more explosion stories.)

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