Possible Chemical Plant Explosion, Residents in Texas Evacuated

Due to the extreme weather conditions in Texas, one chemical plant owner in southeast Texas had to evacuate his facility in precaution for an unpreventable explosion.

Arkema’s North America CEO Richard Rowe, according to a Reuters report, stated that he expects chemicals at the building will either catch fire or explode, within a weeks time period.

It can all be blamed on flood waters.

Via Weather: All residents within 1.5 miles of the chemical plant in Crosby were told to evacuate as a precautionary measure Tuesday because of the rising risk of an explosion, according to a statement from the company.

The plant has been heavily flooded by more than 40 inches of rain, causing its refrigeration system and backup power generators to fail, raising the possibility that the volatile chemicals on the site could explode.

“The situation at the Crosby site has become serious,” the company said. “At this time, while we do not believe there is any imminent danger, the potential for a chemical reaction leading to a fire and/or explosion within the site confines is real.”

The biggest challenge for the company has been maintaining refrigeration for products needed to maintain a low temperature. They initially tried to transfer products from a warehouse into diesel-powered refrigerated containers, however the company realized the danger was far too great and needed to evacuate workers.

“Arkema is limited in what it can do to address the site conditions until the storm abates,” the company said. “We are monitoring the temperature of each refrigeration container remotely. At this time, while we do not believe there is any imminent danger, the potential for a chemical reaction leading to a fire and/or explosion within the site confines is real. ”

Arkema produces organic peroxides, often utilized by the plastics and rubber industries.

h/t weather

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