Another Texas chemical fire kills 1 worker, injures 2 - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Another Texas chemical fire kills 1 worker, injures 2

Posted: Updated:
Fire erupted at a chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, on April 2, 2019. (KRTK via CNN) Fire erupted at a chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, on April 2, 2019. (KRTK via CNN)
Fire erupted at a chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, on April 2, 2019. (KRTK via CNN) Fire erupted at a chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, on April 2, 2019. (KRTK via CNN)

By JUAN A. LOZANO
Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) -- A tank holding a flammable chemical caught fire at a Texas plant Tuesday, killing one worker, critically injuring two others and sending other panicked employees fleeing over a fence to safety.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez confirmed the fatality in a tweet and said the two injured had been taken by helicopter to a hospital. The two injured were in critical condition, said Rachel Moreno, spokeswoman for the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office.

Authorities shut down a roadway near Tuesday's fire at a KMCO chemical plant in Crosby, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Houston, Gonzalez said.

All residents within a one-mile radius of the plant were ordered to stay indoors or shelter in place.

Harris said a transfer line ignited in the area of a tank of isobutylene - a flammable colorless gas used in the production of high octane gasoline - which then caught on fire. First responders were trying to contain the fire, Gonzalez said.

Worker Justin Trahan told Houston television station KPRC that he heard "some panic on the radio" but no alarms sounding before the plant caught fire.

"We didn't think anything of it - we didn't think it was anything severe," he said.

Trahan said employees began running after "the tank ignited."

He said that he and other colleagues had to jump over a fence to escape because all the gates were locked.

John C. Foley, chief executive of KMCO, said in a statement that the company had activated its emergency response team and set up a command center.

"We are working with local first responders to extinguish the fire," he said.

KMCO is a chemical company that offers coolant and brake fluid products and chemicals for the oilfield industry.

The Crosby, Sheldon and Channelview school districts asked students and staff to shelter in place at all their campuses.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said that it has dispatched emergency response personnel to conduct an initial assessment of the fire.

The fire comes about two weeks after a March 17 blaze at a petrochemical storage facility in Deer Park , located about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Crosby. That earlier fire burned for days and triggered air quality warnings.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Submit a News Tip

    Do you have a news tip for KTEN?

    Begin by entering your email address in the field below or call 903-548-4010

    * denotes required fields
    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Your news tip has been submitted. If you provided contact information, we might use it to reach out to you if additional information is required.