DEER PARK, Texas – A Shell chemical plant caught fire in Deer Park, Texas, on Friday afternoon, leading to an evaluation at the plant and sending some contractors to the hospital.
The fire started just before 3 p.m. near Beltway 8 and SH 225, according to KHOU. Eleven employees were accounted for and have been evacuated.
Gonzalez said that five contractors were taken to an area hospital as a precaution partially due to the heat. The Deer Park Office of Emergency Management told KHOU that the contractors were exposed to a product.
The agency said that the chemicals that were being burned included cracked heavy gas oil, cracked light gas oil and gasoline, the news outlet reported.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality per KHOU, said they were deploying its air monitoring resources to the Deer Park area following the fire.
Shell issued a statement, according to the news outlet.
“This is the Environmental Duty Representative at Shell Deer Park. We are currently experiencing fire within one of our units. The incident is being handled within the boundaries of this facility and there is no threat to the community from this incident. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause,” Shell said in the statement obtained by KHOU.
City of Deer Park spokesperson Kaitlyn Bluejacket told The Associated Press that they have been advised by Shell that there will be no need for a shelter in place but if that did change, the city will notify residents.
Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia in a statement obtained by the AP said that the situation has been “under control” and avoided residents to avoid the area.
No serious injuries were reported, Gonzalez said.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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