HOUSTON (Reuters) – Two workers were injured in an early Wednesday explosion at TPC Group’s chemical plant in Port Neches, Texas, that felt more than 30 miles (48 kms) away from the plant, said a law enforcement official.
KFDM-TV in Beaumont, Texas, quoted Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick saying all workers had been accounted for following the blast that shattered windows and blew doors of their hinges.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said two injured people were taken to an area hospital.
Captain Crystal Holmes of the sheriff’s office said rescuers were “able to pull two injured employees out.”
The plant employs 175 and routinely has 50 contract workers on site.
A company spokesman was not immediately available to discuss the blaze.
The extent of the injuries were unknown, said five sources familiar with the fire-fighting and rescue operations in Port Neches.
Residents within a half-mile (0.8 KM) of the plant were ordered to evacuate.
Holmes said in addition to search and rescue operations in the plant, police officers were going door-to-door in nearby neighborhoods to check for injured people.
Some homes sustained heavy damage from the initial explosion and several secondary blasts, the sources said.
Firefighters continued to battle the blaze two hours after the first explosion, which occurred at about 1 a.m. local time (0700 GMT), the sources said.
The Port Neches plant can produce more than 900 million pounds (408,233 metric tons) of chemicals, according to the company’s website.
Reporting by Erwin Seba in Houston and K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Arpan Varghese, editing by Louise Heavens