UPDATED: March 15, 2018  9:00 PMBy MaryAnn Martinez

UPDATE: Crews have suspended their search for the night for a worker missing since an explosion and fire at a North Texas chemical plant and will resume Friday.

Officials now call the search a “recovery” effort, meaning if the missing worker is still in the Tri-Chem Industries wreckage, he’s believed to likely be dead.

Cresson Mayor Bob Cornett says searchers entered the wreckage late Thursday afternoon thinking they knew where the worker was, but their search was fruitless.

“There was nothing more that we could do and that will weigh heavy on several of our firefighters for quite a while because we feel like we let somebody down,” said Cresson Fire Chief Ron Becker.

The flames have subsided at the site except for some hot spots, and the highway on which the plant is situated has reopened. Two workers were taken to hospitals, one of them with life-threatening burns.

CRESSON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) –  A fire at a chemical plant southwest of Fort Worth is still burning, and investigators say the earliest they’ll be able to get inside to search for a missing worker is Friday morning.

Eleven of 12 workers have been accounted for after an explosion at the plant this morning. The missing man is Dylan Mitchell, who’s worked for the company for four years, according to his brother, Austin Mitchell.

adylan Search For Missing Worker Suspended After Chemical Plant Explosion

Dylan Mitchell (Mitchell family)

Austin says he has spoken with his brother’s co-workers about what happened.

map breaking news cresson chemical fire satellite2 Search For Missing Worker Suspended After Chemical Plant Explosion

Tri-Chem Industries in Cresson (map credit: KTVT Art Dept.)

“(They) said that he kind of kicked something out of the way and it started a spark which ignited the vapors where he was…and then the explosion,” said Austin. “The guys working with my brother got blasted out of the back door, and then no one really saw him since.”

A chemical explosion rocked the Tri-Chem Industrial Chemical Plant in Cresson, Texas at 9:30 a.m. Austin says his brother, has worked there for four years, since the company first started. 

“They started in the warehouse in Arlington. He wanted to rise with the company when it first started and he stuck with them, and then they got bigger and then they built this warehouse out here. He loved the job…stayed late nights and early mornings for them,” said Austin.

Tweny-seven-year-old Dylan mixed chemicals for a living and was working on something new formula with the company, according to his brother. 

Two others were also injured, including a worker sent to a hospital in Granbury and a second man, identified as Jason Speegle by his family. He was flown to Parkland Hospital in Dallas with very severe injuries.

“When he started working there, we were told that it was a dangerous job, but we didn’t know that it was this dangerous,” said Jessica Gregg.

Thursday evening, Dylan Mitchell’s daughter is still waiting to hear where her father is.

“I feel hallow; I feel empty,” said Austin Mitchell. “I lost my best friend. I was supposed to married in two weeks and he’s a groomsman.”

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App
Drip Pan: Only CBS

Watch & Listen LIVE