Seabrook Explosion,Seabrook Texas:A large chemical plant explosion near Seabrook early this morning sent a gigantic plume of smoke billowing into the air. No serious injuries have been reported.
The explosion occurred at an American Acryl facility at 11600 Port Road near old Texas 146 about 8:50 a.m., according to the Seabrook Police Department. A short section of Texas 146 near the blast site was closed in both directions, as is Port Road.
An hour later, firefighters appeared to have the fire out, and no smoke was visible from the charred wreckage at the plant. Two people went to Memorial Hermann Hospital Southeast complaining of discomfort, said Seabrook police Lt. Sean Wright.
Memorial Hermann spokeswoman Jennifer Hart said both were in good condition.
Area residents were asked to shelter in place after the blast, but that recommendation was lifted by 11 a.m. Rosio Torres of Harris County’s emergency management office said the guidance was given because the blast involved toluene, a toxic substance that can cause nausea and tiredness in low to moderate levels.
However, in a recorded message company said the blast did not cause a release of the chemical.
Shoreacres Police Officer D. Cantu, who was in the La Porte area at the time, said he heard the blast and turned in time to see “a ball of fire going up into the air.” Reports indicate the blast was heard or felt as far away as Baytown and Pearland.
American Acryl was permitted in 2000 to build a $150 million chemical plant in the Bayport industrial district.
The facility is built on about 65 acres and and includes a 120,000-ton-per-year acrylic acid plant.
Acrylic acid is a key component in many commonly used household and personal care products such as disposable diapers and water-based products for paints, inks and adhesives.
American Acryl was formed in 1997 and is a 50-50 joint venture between NA Industries Inc. and Atofina Chemicals Inc., who are the North American subsidiaries of Nippon Shokubai and Total Fina Elf S.A.