Explosions were heard on Thursday and black smoke was seen rising from a chemical plant near Houston city in the US state of Texas, compromised by flooding from the catastrophic hurricane Harvey, officials said.
Arkema Inc, which runs the plant, said in a statement it was notified of the explosions by Harris County Emergency Operations at about 2 a.m., reports ABC News.
Police said on that a deputy was taken to the hospital after inhaling fumes from the plant and nine others drove themselves to the hospital as a precaution.
The area around the plant, which produces organic peroxides used in a variety of products, including construction material, has been evacuated.
Arkema said it was continuing to monitor developments along with local authorities.
On Wednesday, the company said that there was “no way to prevent” a possible explosion at the company’s Crosby, Texas facility, which has been heavily flooded as a result of hurricane Harvey.
“We have an unprecedented six feet of water at the plant,” Arkema President and CEO Rich Rowe said on Wednesday. “We have lost primary power and two sources of emergency backup power.”
Residents within a 1.5-mile radius of the facility, which is about 27 miles east of Houston, have been told to leave, Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office told ABC News.
So far, 37 people have been killed in Texas since the hurricane made landfall on August 25.