Texas chemical explosion forces shelter-in-place order


An explosion at a chemical plant in Texas on Wednesday has prompted nearby communities to shelter in place as officials work to determine whether any chemicals were released into the air.

The blast happened at Sound Resource Solutions along U.S. Highway 59 in Shepherd. The city in located in San Jacinto County about 60 miles northeast of Houston.  

One person suffered first-degree burns to the face and second-degree and third-degree burns to the arms, FOX26 Houston reported, citing a source. The individual was being treated at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center.

An initial 5-mile shelter-in-place order was reduced to a 1-mile radius after officials assessed the scene, the San Jacinto County of Emergency Management said.

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At least one injury has been reported from the blast, FOX26 Houston reported. (KTRK)

The explosion also forced the evacuation of a nearby private school on FM 1127, emergency officials said.

Shepherd chemical plant flames and smoke

Billowing black smoke could be seen covering the sky in the surrounding area. (KTRK)

Photos and video from the scene along show a massive black plume of smoke billowing from the plant.

Shepherd chemical plant flames and smoke

Officials ordered nearby residents and businesses to shelter in place and turn off HVAC systems. (KTRK)

It was unclear what caused the explosion or what type of chemical was on fire.

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Polk County Emergency Management said the plume appeared to be heading toward the Livingston area and recommended that residents along U.S. Highway 59 from Goodrich to Leggett shelter in place and turn off HVAC systems in homes and businesses.

“At this time, the effects of the chemical in the air are unknown,” Polk County officials said.

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U.S. Highway 59 remained closed from FM 1988 to Exit 451B as emergency responders worked at the scene, the Texas Department of Transportation said.



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