Massive Fire at Chemical Plant Near Houston Prompts School Evacuation and Shelter-in-Place Advisory

  • Massive fire and explosion at a chemical plant near Houston leads to evacuation of school and shelter-in-place advisory for residents.
  • Fire is now contained and no chemicals detected in the air; one worker sustains minor burn injury.
  • Shelter-in-place order lifted but residents urged to minimize outdoor activities; dark black smoke produced during fire.

Additional Coverage:

A chemical plant near Houston experienced a massive fire on Wednesday, leading to the evacuation of a nearby school and a shelter-in-place advisory for residents. According to San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers, the incident occurred after an explosion at the Shepherd plant at around 8 a.m. local time. Emmitt Eldridge, the emergency management coordinator with the San Jacinto County Office of Emergency Management, announced during a press briefing that the fire is now contained. Approximately 20 fire crews are on-site dealing with the fire, and ongoing monitoring has not detected any chemicals in the air at present.

All employees at the plant have been accounted for, with only one worker sustaining a minor burn injury, as reported by Sound Resource Solutions, the plant’s owner. Capers mentioned that there were 19 employees inside the building at the time. Additionally, a private school with 31 children was evacuated in the vicinity of the plant, according to the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office.

Polk County Emergency Management has lifted the shelter-in-place order for the surrounding area. However, they urged residents to minimize unnecessary outdoor activities despite the order being lifted. Meanwhile, in Livingston, a town located several miles north of Shepherd in Polk County, residents were asked by the local police to shelter in place and turn off their air conditioning systems until further notice.

The fire at the chemical plant produced a significant amount of dark black smoke. Capers mentioned that flammable liquids and diesel were burning at the site. Shepherd is situated around an hour north of Houston.

Read More About This Story: