A fire broke out at a chemical plant owned by Arkema Inc. in Crosby, Texas, Friday afternoon, a day after the plant was rocked by explosions due to flooding by Tropical Storm Harvey.
Arkema officials warned nearby residents to take precautions against the smoke billowing from the factory as it may be toxic. Homeland Security said anyone within a 1.5 mile radius or within sight of the smoke clouds should evacuate immediately, Fox News reports.
The plant lost power due to the storm and chemicals stored in refrigerators throughout the plant grow more and more volatile as the heat sets in, according to ABC News.
Nine containers of organic peroxides are scattered throughout the facility. Only one of the nine has caught fire, although the other eight can ignite at any time, Arkema President and CEO Rich Rowe told ABC News.
“The only recourse is to let the eight containers burn out,” Rowe told reporters according to ABC News. “It’s 500,000 pounds of material; let that material burn out.”
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