Two explosions reported at flooded chemical plant near Houston

"GOES-16 Geocolor Image of Tropical Storm Harvey" by NOAAsatellites, Public Domain Mark 1.0

Two explosions were reported Thursday at the flooded Arkema Inc. plant in Crosby, Texas, according to multiple outlets including the Associated Press.

The plant, about 25 miles northeast of Houston, lost power and its backup generators amid Harvey’s days-long deluge, leaving it without refrigeration for chemicals that become volatile as the temperature rises.

Chief Executive Rich Rowe said there was “no way to prevent” the explosion.

Arkema manufactures organic peroxides, a family of compounds used for making everything from pharmaceuticals to construction materials.

The company shut down the Crosby site before Harvey made landfall last week, but a crew of 11 had stayed behind. That group was removed and residents within 1.5 miles were told to evacuate Tuesday after the plant lost power.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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