PORT NECHES, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A chemical plant in southeast Texas exploded early Wednesday morning, injuring three workers and damaging homes from several miles away.
In a statement to KDFM-TV, the TPC Group said the explosion originated at its plant in Port Neches, about 13 miles southeast of Beaumont, on Wednesday at about 1 a.m.
The company said all of its personnel who were at the plant at the time are accounted for and that three workers were injured and are being treated. According to County Judge Jeff Branick, one of the workers suffered burns while the others had a broken leg and broken wrist.
The three workers who were injured during the blast were later treated and released from hospitals in Port Arthur and Houston, said Troy Monk, TPC’s director of health, safety and security.
About 30 employees were working at the plant at the time of the explosion and all have been accounted for, according to TPC.
According to the TPC’s website, it provides a diverse range of quality products to chemical and petroleum-based companies worldwide.
Monk said TPC does not know what caused the explosion, but it will form an investigation team to determine what happened.
“We’re staying focused on the safety of our emergency response personnel folks in and around in the community as well as trying to protect the environment,” Monk said at a news conference.
TPC officials know that at least three tanks have been damaged by the blaze, but firefighters have not been able to fully assess damage at the plant as they remain in a defensive position, Monk said.
Posts on social media by residents showed the night sky lit up by orange flames and filled with thick smoke.
TPC EXPLOSION: Video of a door being blown off at person home in Port Neches during plant explosion.
Thank you to Michael Buell for the video. pic.twitter.com/prKZUzBk4F
— KFDM News (@kfdmnews) November 27, 2019
Damage to nearby homes and businesses such as blown-out windows and doors was reported throughout the surrounding area.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)