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Chemical plant explosion IMMINENT as mass evacuation ordered within 1.5 miles

31 August 2017

A chemical plant in Crosby, Texas was in critical condition Tuesday night after its refrigeration system and inundated backup power generators failed, raising the possibility that the volatile chemicals on the site would explode. He said he believes a fire would be "largely sustained on our site but we are trying to be conservative".

The Texas plant produces liquid organic peroxides used in the production of plastic resins, polystyrene, polyethylene, polypropylene, PVC and polyester reinforced fiberglass, and acrylic resins.

The Crosby Fire Department evacuated its last employee Tuesday night. In other words, it makes sense Arkema and local, state and federal officials didn't fool around once the situation became clear.

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The company said it opted not to move chemicals before the storm but made extensive preparations. We are monitoring the temperature of each refrigeration container remotely.

"You'll lose the feedstock, but it's safer than letting it go into runaway mode", Mannan said. The newspaper noted that a 2016 analysis by the Chronicle and the Texas A&M Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center identified the Arkema site in Crosby as one of most at-risk chemical facilities in the Houston area for a safety incident.

Plant officials shut the facility down on Friday ahead of Hurricane Harvey making landfall, with just 11 emergency workers left behind to monitor the situation, KTRK-TV said. The company is able to see the temperatures of some of the freezer trailers but not all of them and has no ability to cool off the chemicals. The plant's chemical inventory includes acetone, benzoyl chloride, chlorodifluromethane, cumene, cumene hydroperpoxide, DI (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, ethybenzene, ethylene glycol, hydrochloric acid, mercury, methyl ethylketone, n-hexane, sodium hydroxide, sodium sulfate, sulfuric acid and butyl alcohol.

Chemical plant explosion IMMINENT as mass evacuation ordered within 1.5 miles