WARNING! Possible asbestos exposure in Port Neches: officials

Saturday, November 30, 2019
Officials warn of possible asbestos exposure after plant explosion
Officials warn of possible asbestos exposure after plant explosion

PORT NECHES, Texas (KTRK) -- Officials are urging Port Neches residents to not touch the debris from the fires at the TPC facility.

Fires continue to burn at the site, but TPC officials say the fires are contained.

On Friday, the mandatory evacuation and curfew order in effect for the Port Neches area was lifted by Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick.

RELATED: What's burning in the plant explosion in Port Neches?

Now, officials are worried about a possible asbestos exposure, which could look like a white chalky substance in debris.

TPC officials can not say how long the fires will continue to burn, but they encourage anyone who finds debris to call their hotline.

The initial blast happened around 1 a.m. Wednesday at the TPC Group plant off Highway 366. The facility is approximately 95 miles east of Houston.

RELATED: Impact and thunderous sound of Texas explosion caught on camera

Explosion at the TPC plant on Port Neches, Texas, shattered windows and caused damage to structures for miles. Footage from a home security camera around a mile away from the blast illustrates the strength of the explosion.

Two employees and one contractor were injured in the blast, but all were treated and released from hospitals, officials said.

By early Wednesday afternoon, another blast rocked the plant as personnel continued to fight the fires on site. That explosion was caused by the collapse of a flaring tower, according to Jefferson County Emergency Management Coordinator Michael White.

RELATED: Evacuation, curfew order lifted for Port Neches area after plant explosion

More flaring towers could also fall as the response continued, White said, and the fire may take days to put out.

Butadiene, a known carcinogen, is the chemical that is burning, according to officials.

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