Residents in a small town located east of Houston were in for quite an unexpected surprise on Wednesday morning, November 8, when a massive explosion and fire broke out at a chemical plant. The incident occurred at the Sound Resource Solutions chemical plant at Shepherd, Texas.
One employee was injured in the incident but all other personnel were safely evacuated from the premises.
The blaze resulted in a five-mile shelter-in-place warning being issued and the evacuation of a nearby private school on Farm-to-Market Road 1127. By 10:30 am local time, that radius was reduced to one mile as first responders contained the fire.
BREAKING: Massive explosion at a chemical plant in Shepherd, Texas, residents ordered to shelter pic.twitter.com/7csSMETw7S
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) November 8, 2023
The blast sent huge plumes of black smoke into the sky as well as potentially hazardous chemicals and toxins into nearby communities. As such, nearby towns like Livingston have been advised by local officials to take precautions such as turning off air conditioning systems and sheltering in place until further notice.
Highway 59 has also been closed due to the event while locals are urged to use alternate routes when possible.
BREAKING: Shelter-in-place order issued after chemical plant explosion in Shepherd, Texas; smoke visible for miles. pic.twitter.com/xCQOYnlALw
— The General (@GeneralMCNews) November 8, 2023
Fortunately, it appears no chemicals have yet been detected according to officials during a news briefing held at 1 PM local time on Wednesday afternoon.
The fire has since then been contained per reports from first responders who have done an amazing job containing the blaze quickly and efficiently – ensuring that everyone is safe despite the incident.
The Polk County Emergency Management Office warned that chemicals used by Sound Resource Solutions have “acute toxicity, carcinogenicity, and reproductive toxicity” which could cause serious eye damage or irritation as well as organ toxicity if inhaled or come into contact with skin for prolonged periods of time.
Huge fire at a petroleum processing plant in Shepherd, TX. Residents within 5 miles have been told to shelter in place. pic.twitter.com/bhkn2ZSM5l
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) November 8, 2023
At this point it is still unclear how far reaching the effects of this explosion will be or what long term health impacts may arise as a result of exposure to these hazardous materials released during this incident. Only time will tell how much damage has been done both physically and psychologically on those who live near this industrial site.