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9 hospitalized after fire at Texas chemical plant

Officials said there was little risk to the public, but plan to monitor air quality at the site of the fire.
9 hospitalized after fire at Texas chemical plant
Posted at 8:43 AM, May 06, 2023

Five people were hospitalized after a fire at a chemical plant near Houston on Thursday, officials said.

All personnel were accounted for after the fire, Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia said in a statement. Five workers were sent to the hospital for "precautionary reasons" because of the heat, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said in a tweet.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said the fire broke out at a Shell facility in Deer Park, a suburb of Houston.

The fire sent up a plume of smoke that was briefly visible on weather radar, but there was little risk to anyone beyond the plant.

Gonzalez wrote that there was no explosion. He said a fire involving heavy gas oils had broken out and was briefly visible from the nearby freeway, but has since been contained.

Shell told the city of Deer Park it did not have reason to issue a shelter-in-place order at the time of the fire. People were told to avoid the immediate area.

The Harris County Fire Marshal's office and fire crews from the Shell plant and other nearby facilities were responding to the fire. Representatives from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said they were sending air monitoring assets to the scene.

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