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Explosion at Port Neches Chemical Plant Causes Evacuations in Nearby Cities

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On Wednesday, November 27, 2019, an explosion at the TPC Group plant in Port Neches, Texas resulted in a mandatory curfew and evacuation order being issued. The orders affected some 50,000 residents within a 4-mile radius of the explosion site. The impacted cities included Port Neches, Groves, Nederland, Central Gardens, Beuaxart Gardens, and Port Arthur.

The initial explosion occurred early on Wednesday, with smaller blasts happening throughout the day. Of the 175 full-time employees and 50 contractors working for the chemical plant, only 30 were on-site at the time of the incident. All were accounted for after they were evacuated from the facility.

Authorities said that 2 employees and 1 contractor were taken to nearby hospitals to be treated. They were later released.

The explosions caused damage to the town of Port Neches, with residents saying their windows and doors were blown from their homes. Officials also reported that one of the explosions launched a tower into the air, which landed near Port Neches-Groves High School. Students were not on campus at the time.

Plumes of black smoke billowed into the air as crews worked tirelessly to contain and stop the fires. The director of health and safety at the TPC Group warned residents not to touch the debris with their hands.

The TPC Group plant makes petroleum- and chemical-based products for other companies. Authorities said that what’s burning is a substance called butadiene, which is used for making rubber and plastic. Butadiene is a colorless gas that is considered harmful to humans.

Adding to the concern for residents’ safety is the fact that asbestos insulation was used in some of the equipment at the plant. If inhaled, the substance can get lodge in the lungs and could cause cancer, such as mesothelioma. However, officials said that there were no measurable levels of asbestos in the air.

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If you or a loved one was injured by the TPC Group chemical plant explosion, reach out to our attorneys in Beaumont today. We are committed to helping victims recover the compensation they need to take care of accident-related damages.

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