Chem Leak, Fire Forces Evac in TX

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 @ 06:06 PM gHale

Dozens of people evacuated from their homes Sunday after two separate chemical mishaps occurred at plants along Highway 146 in Mont Belvieu, TX.

Flames and what appeared to be a black chemical were shooting out from the ground near Winfree road.

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“It looked like someone struck oil in the early 1800’s,” said Ken Perry, a witness, who lives three blocks away.

Authorities said there were two separate incidents: The first involved a mix of salt water and hydrocarbon chemicals that leaked from LyondellBasell’s pipeline storage plant. The second involved a fire next to the plant at Lone Star NGL.

LyondellBasell said there was a pressure build-up in a wellhead at their pipeline storage facility.

The company said all employees were safe and accounted for and no one suffered an injury. The evacuation order lasted for six hours on Sunday.

“We want to be sure that everything is safe,” said Bryan Easum, Mont Belvieu’s City Manager.

In addition to the evacuations, portions of Highway 146 ended up closed as a precautionary measure. They reopened later on.

Officials said the air is safe to breathe. They are investigating both incidents as they try to figure out what caused the leak and the fire. 

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