Explosion Risk Prompts Evacuation Near Texas Chemical Plant

Posted on 8/30/2017 by Roger Marks

UPDATE 08/31/17, 9:09 AM ET: Early this morning, emergency crews reported black smoke and fire at the Arkema organic peroxides plant in Crosby, TX. Those in the 1.5 mile evacuation area are being warned to stay away, as the risk of additoinal explosions and fires remains. Read Arkema's official statement here. 

An evacuation order is in place for all residents within 1.5 miles of the Arkema chemical manufacturing plant in northeast Crosby, Texas. The facility is located in the 18000 block of Crosby Eastgate Road.

The Crosby plant—where the company manufactures organic peroxides—has been without electricity since Sunday due to high water from hurricane Harvey.

Thermally unstable due to weak oxygen bonds in their molecular structure, organic peroxides must be stored at low temperatures in order to prevent decomposition and combustion. While a team of employees worked quickly and diligently to transfer product to diesel-powered refrigerated containers, at this time high water has compromised some of those back-up containers.  

This leaves Arkema with few, if any, options for further preventing a catastrophic incident—until Harvey relents.

Read Arkema’s statement here.

The Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (OHSEM) is providing updates via social media (@ReadyHarris) for those impacted by the storm. 

Tags: chemicals, emergency, Harvey, hurricane

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