KMCO Chemical Plant Explosion

Avery Ward, Contributor

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The fire at the KMCO plant in Crosby, on Ramsey Road which was just northeast of the town, exploded around 10:55 a.m. There was one fatality and two people were severely injured at KMCO, which was the second significant fire at a chemical plant in the Houston, Texas area within three weeks. The fire marshal’s office tweeted that the firefighters extinguished the fire late Tuesday afternoon (MSN).

Responders are pursuing to observe the scene and put out “hot spots,” the office tweeted, while investigators are leading interviews at the site and trying to determine where the fire first erupted and what caused it. “We are working with the company to determine exactly what chemicals are on site and in the warehouse that is on fire,” said Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office spokeswoman Rachel Moreno (MSN). Moreno said the company believes that the fire began when a transfer line carrying isobutylene, a flammable gas, ignited, then she added that helicopter ambulances transported the two injured workers to the hospital, where they are in critical condition (MSN).

“My heart and our hearts go out to the families of those who were injured, and the person who passed away as a result of the situation,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, who joined Moreno and Sheriff Ed Gonzalez at the news conference, held at a gas station near the facility (MSN).

KMCO has turned on its incident command center and dismissed its emergency response team to help first responders extinguish the fire, president and CEO John C. Foley said in a statement. “We are deeply saddened to confirm at this time that there have been injuries and one fatality,” Foley said, “Those injured have been transported for medical treatment. Our hearts and prayers go out to the individuals involved, as well as our first responders, employees, and our community” (MSN).

The fire at KMCO came almost three weeks after a tank farm at a petrochemical holding facility in Deer Park, Texas also caught fire. Officials have not determined a cause for the blaze at Intercontinental Terminals Inc. Eleven of the fifteen tanks at the farm caught fire, which sent up a puff of smoke. There was concerns from citizens about the air quality in the area. However, no serious injuries were reported and the daily press briefings ended on Monday (MSN).

“Texas is failing to protect people from chemical fires and explosions and rogue releases of toxic air pollution. It is untenable,” said Elena Craft, senior director for climate and health at the Environmental Defense Fund, in a written statement following Tuesday’s blaze. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality must inspect every single facility every single year. That should be a bare minimum” (MSN).

In the KMCO fire, Matt Loesel of the federal Environmental Protection Agency said real-time air monitoring using aircraft and a bus-mounted mobile unit have not found any hazardous readings of any substance (MSN). The incident caused many school districts to issue a shelter in place. Houston ISD canceled all outdoor events on Tuesday afternoon except for certain campuses.

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/one-dead-in-fire-at-kmco-chemical-plant-in-crosby/ar-BBVxDas?ocid=spartanntp

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Avery Ward, Contributor

My name is Avery Ward and I am a freshman.  Here's a few things I like to do. Firstly, I love to play volleyball! I have been playing on the court for...

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KMCO Chemical Plant Explosion