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Enormous Explosion & Fire at Texas Oil Refinery


A massive fire and explosion started Friday at the Shell refinery plant in Deer Park, Texas.

Multiple people were reportedly injured from the incident, which started just before 3 pm.

Thick, black smoke reportedly could be seen miles away from the plant as emergency crews fought the blaze.

“At approximately 2:56 PM CST, a fire started at Shell’s Deer Park Chemicals facility in the olefins unit. The ignited product includes cracked heavy gas oil, cracked light gas oil and gasoline. No injuries have been reported, though a small number of contract employees who were exposed to product are undergoing medical evaluation as a precaution,” Shell Deer Park Chemicals posted on Facebook.

“Emergency responders are on scene and working to put out the fire. The cause of the fire will be the subject of a future investigation, and our immediate priorities remain the safety of people and the environment,” the statement added.

Here’s footage of the blaze:

Fox News reported:

As of 7 p.m. Friday, the fire was contained and reported to be diminishing. All employees at the facility have been accounted for.

Aerial pictures showed flames shooting from the facility’s smokestacks and huge billows of black smoke.

Deer Park International School District and Office of Emergency Management officials said there was no shelter-in-place order due to wind blowing in the opposite direction of Deer Park.

The fire took up so much space in the sky that it was visible on National Weather Service’s radar, the organization reported.

Houston Chronicle added further details:

Nine contractors were released from local hospitals after being evaluated following Friday’s fire, Shell said in a tweet on Friday night. The company has not described the contractors’ injuries.

Steam continued to rise from site of the fire at 10 p.m. Friday. Shell said air monitoring was still ongoing and that monitors hadn’t detected any harmful levels of chemicals.

cont.

A spokesman for Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia said eight people had been injured during the fire. Five of those people had been transported by ambulance and three transported themselves to Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital.

The spokesman added that Port of Houston fire boats had been requested to provide water for cooling.

Harris County Pollution Control was monitoring air quality in Channelview, in the direction the smoke was blowing. The agency planned to monitor the air quality until the fire was completely out.



 

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