Crosby residents react after KMCO explosion

CROSBY, Texas (KTRK) -- After the chemical explosion and fire at the KMCO facility, neighbors near the plant were thrown into a chaotic situation when some were unable to make it home and others were forced to take shelter.

"All of a sudden there was just like a big old boom. The dogs jumped off the couch and started going crazy," says neighbor Vickie Wilhite.

She heard the boom and saw the sky darken as the plume moved overhead.

"You could see the big thick smoke, and all of the sudden it was right over our backyard," Wilhite said.

Kim Lantz lives less than a mile from the chemical plant. She sheltered in place for hours.

"It was very scary. I turned off the air conditioning. I didn't open the doors," Lantz said.

Meanwhile, people like Laura Woody, who was at work when the explosion happened, couldn't get home at all.

"There was so many cop cars and cop trucks going down the street. It was real chaotic," Woody said.

When Wilhite finally went outside, she found a white powdery substance on her truck. She said it may possibly be ash, but she's not quite sure. For her, this latest chemical fire is a last straw.

"After this one, it probably won't be long before we're moving," she said.

Others who don't want to move or can't afford to are asking these chemical facilities to be better neighbors.

"With all the lawsuits and all of that against them, they need to clean their act up," Lantz said.

Woody asks plant owners to remember there are people, including your children, at risk when things go awry.

"Think about the people that are around you. Think about the families. Think about your family if they were stuck in it," she said.

They're hoping this deadly event will be a wake up call to plant owners and to lawmakers.

Follow Steven Romo on Twitter and Facebook.
Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.