22 Jul 2020
An explosion and fire at an ExxonMobil plant in Baytown have left at least 37 people injured.
KTLA News Channel 5 reports that the industrial accident happened at ExxonMobil’s Baytown Olefins plant at approximately 11:07 a.m. on Wednesday, July 31st. Residents near the plant were advised to shelter in place.
The plant is located 25 miles east of Houston and east of the Texas Spur 330 freeway. The Baytown plant is one of the world’s largest petrochemical plants in the world.
So far, all of those hurt in the blast suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Authorities say that first degree burns were the most common injury and were treated at a local clinic. According to Baytown spokesperson, Natasha Barrett, three of the people hurt in the blast were transported to an area hospital for treatment.
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Plant manager, Jason Duncan said in a statement to the press that the fire broke out in a polypropylene recovery unit, where plastic is purified for production. Duncan said in a statement that crews were working with “an abundance of caution” and were attempting to down the units and isolate the fire source. The company later reported that the fire was contained and under control.
Harris County Emergency Management sent out a tweet informing members of the community to stay inside, turn off air conditioning units, and to keep all doors and windows closed until ExxonMobil gives the “all-clear” signal.
ExxonMobil and the city of Baytown told KTLA that they are carefully monitoring air quality to make certain there are no lasting, adverse environmental effects from the explosion and fire.