The Latest: 2 trailers of compounds caught fire in Texas plant f - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

The Latest: 2 trailers of compounds caught fire in Texas plant fire

Posted: Updated:
HOUSTON (AP) -

The Latest on a Houston-area chemical plant that lost power when it was swamped by Harvey's floods, making it impossible to cool combustible chemicals (all times local):
   7:10 p.m.
   Arkema says two trailers of unstable compounds have caught fire at its chemical plant near Houston where it lost power after Harvey.
   Arkema executive Richard Rennard also says the company expects its six other trailers with organic peroxides to eventually catch fire. He says the company is checking the air quality as black smoke billows from the plant.
   The Environmental Protection Agency also says it's monitoring for any airborne toxic chemicals.
   Arkema says Harvey's floodwaters engulfed its backup generators and knocked out the refrigeration necessary to keep the containers of organic peroxides from degrading and catching fire. One container caught fire Thursday.
   ------
   6:30 p.m.
   The Environmental Protection Agency says it's checking the smoke coming from a Houston-area chemical plant where highly unstable compounds have caught fire.
   EPA spokesman David Gray said Friday that EPA surveillance aircraft is flying through the fire at the Arkema plant in Crosby to monitor any airborne toxic chemical and "will have information shortly."
   It's the second day in a row that a fire has happened at the plant.
   Arkema says Harvey's floodwaters engulfed its backup generators and knocked out the refrigeration necessary to keep it's nine containers of organic peroxides from degrading and catching fire.
   Arkema spokeswoman Janet Smith on Friday evening reiterated statements executives made earlier in the day that the remaining containers of organic peroxides would explode. They say the safest course of action is to simply "let these fires happen and let them burn out."
   ------------
   5:45 p.m.
   Fire officials say they're aware of one trailer containing unstable compounds that's on fire at a Houston-area chemical plant that lost power after Harvey.
   Rachel Moreno, a spokeswoman for the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office, said fire officials know that one trailer filled with organic peroxides and possibly a second trailer is on fire at the Arkema plant in Crosby. Aerial video shows a towering fire and smoke coming from the plant. The compounds are unstable because the plant lost refrigeration.
   A day earlier, one trailer blew up, sending acrid smoke into the area. An area around the plant was evacuated, and Moreno says the department does not plan to expand it.
   She added that the department believes that the sudden bursts of flame seen in television footage of the fire came from tires.
   ------
   5:35 p.m.
   Another fire has broken out at Houston-area chemical plant that lost power after Harvey, sending black smoke into the air.
   Aerial video shows a towering fire and smoke coming from the Arkema plant in Crosby on Friday evening. The fire came after a container of organic peroxides exploded and caught fire early Thursday, sending acrid smoke into the air. An executive had said up to eight more containers could burn and explode.
   Arkema spokeswoman Janet Smith on Friday evening reiterated statements executives made earlier in the day that the remaining containers of organic peroxides would explode. They say the safest course of action is to simply "let these fires happen and let them burn out."
   The Environmental Protection Agency and local officials said an analysis of the smoke that came from the plant early Thursday showed no reason for alarm. Still, authorities evacuated an area around the plant.
   ------
   5:25 p.m.
   Aerial video shows another fire at a Houston-area chemical plant that lost power after Harvey.
   Flames and smoke could be seen coming from the Arkema plant in Crosby Friday evening. That came after a container of organic peroxides exploded and caught fire early Thursday, sending acrid smoke into the air. An executive had said up to eight more containers could burn and explode.
   Arkema says Harvey's floodwaters engulfed its backup generators and knocked out the refrigeration necessary to keep the compounds from degrading and catching fire.
   The Environmental Protection Agency and local officials said an analysis of the smoke that came from the plant early Thursday showed no reason for alarm. No serious injuries were reported. Still, authorities evacuated an area around the plant.
   ------
   10 a.m.
   Authorities say they heard additional small blasts at the flooded chemical plant near Houston where 2 tons of corrosive chemicals burned.
   Harris County Fire Marshal spokeswoman Rachel K. Moreno says the blasts were heard about 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Arkema Inc. plant but no fire or smoke was seen. She says sheriff's deputies flew over the plant Friday morning, but she doesn't know what they observed.
   The container exploded and caught fire early Thursday and burned itself out by noon, but an additional eight trailers containing the highly unstable organic peroxides were also expected to blow after generators failed and refrigeration was lost.
   Moreno says authorities don't know if what she characterized as "pops" blasts were caused by exploding containers or pressure releasing from valves.
   Arkema notified fire officials Tuesday morning about the facility's power outage, which they believe was caused by flooding from Harvey.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly