A chemical plant exploded in a huge fireball in Texas around 8.17am, sending a giant cloud of black smoke into the sky and triggering evacuations.
A shelter in place has been issued to residents within a one-mile radius of Wednesday’s explosion in Shepherd, Texas.
According to FOX 26 one person has been injured and taken to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center with first-degree burns to the face, along with second and third-degree burns to the arms.
The San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office reported the chemical plant fire at Sound Resource Solutions.
An employee from the plant told ABC 13 that the person who was injured might’ve been hurt initially by a forklift. The accident might have caused the explosion, but it is not clear.
The smoke from the blast has engulfed the sky and hovered over trees
The black clouds from the explosion have grown up to the clouds in the sky
Sound Resource Solutions is a local recycling plant in Shepard, Texas. According to the company’s website, they focus on the ‘blending, repackaging, distribution, and logistics’ in a sustainable way.
Polk County Emergency Managment recommends that residents near US Highway 59 from Goodrich to Leggett shelter in place.
They have also advised residents to turn their HVAC systems off in businesses and home immediately.
The Sheriff’s office is asking the public to avoid the area and watch out for emergency vehicles.
Responders have reported that a plume of smoke is headed towards the Livingston area. Polk County Emergency Managment recommends that residents near US Highway 59 from Goodrich to Leggett shelter in place.
The effects of the chemicals in the air are unknown at this time but the wind is suspected to be carrying the odor and smoke from the fire into the air.
A shot of the huge plume of black smoke from a drivers car (pictured)
Polk County Emergency Management posted a map of the US Highway 59 region from Goodrich to Leggett. All residents in that area need to shelter in place immediately
First responders have arrived on the scene of the chemical plant explosion, including police, fire fighters and the hazmat team
The dark smoke has taken over the clear blue skies from the chemical explosion (pictured)
A total of 40 employees at the plant made it out without injuries.
During a shelter in place during a radiation emergency, all windows and doors should be locked, and everyone inside should move to the basement or the middle of the building, the CDC said.
If you are stuck in a car during a shelter in place you should look to find the closest building. Cars do not provide enough protection from radioactive material.
One person posted to Facebook and said: ‘Thank you to nobody that called to check on me. Yes this is 2 miles away. I was at the donut shop while cops and fire trucks were on the way.’
‘I never heard a boom,’ they said.
Others reported that they did hear the explosion.
First responders have not put any water on the fire yet as it is unknown exactly what kind of chemicals might be involved in the blast.
The plant produces chemicals like isopropyl alcohol, acetone and petroleum-based products.