Fire and explosions rock Texas chemical plant

17 March, 2018, 02:23 | Author: Conrad Doyle
  • NBC    
   INFERNO An explosion and large fire at a North Texas chemical plant on Thursday morning

An official says an explosion at a rural Texas chemical plant injured two workers and that a third is missing, and that fire crews are being kept away from the blaze because of toxic fumes and fear of another explosion. One was badly burned and had to be transported to Dallas, while his co-worker was taken to a local hospital.

At this point, crews are planning to let the fire burn out.

The family of one of the workers at the plant, 27-year-old Dillon Mitchell, told CBS that he is still missing at the blast site, as of the time of this publication.

"We sent crews out, and as soon as they got out there, they called for help", said Mayor Bob Cornett.

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Secondary explosions were seen at about 11.15am (4pm GMT) as the fire continued to burn through the building located along Texas Highway 171.

Investigators said Thursday that they believe the explosion was caused by a worker dragging his foot along the factory floor.

The area is now closed to traffic, and the chemical plant and a nearby lumber yard have been evacuated.

Cornett told The Associated Press that Tri-Chem Industries mixes chemicals that are primarily used by the oil and gas industry to drill disposal wells.

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He also said the earliest rescuers will be able to start searching for Mitchell will be on Friday morning, once the fire has extinguished itself.

Inside the plant water or solids are blended with highly concentrated chemicals.

After a fertilizer plant explosion in the city of West, Texas, killed 15 people in 2013, Greg Abbott, who was then attorney general and is now governor, ruled that state agencies could withhold information about hazardous chemicals because of "ongoing terroristic activity". Cresson is about 20 miles southwest of Fort Worth.

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