A Texas petrochemical plant continued to burn on Wednesday (November 27) after an early hours explosion that left three workers injured.
Firefighters worked to contain the blaze at the plant in Port Neches, around 90 miles (144 km) east of Houston, the latest in a series of chemical plant accidents in the region.
An initial explosion at the TPC Group plant was followed by secondary blasts, shattering windows and blowing locked doors off their hinges in homes near the facility.
Residents within a half-mile radius were evacuated.
People more than 30 miles (48 km) away from the plant were shaken awake by the 1 a.m. CDT explosion, said sources familiar with the fire-fighting and rescue operations.
Some homes close to the plant sustained heavy damage and local police were going door-to-door to check for injuries, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
One of the three injured workers was flown by helicopter to a Houston hospital’s burns unit, the sources said.
The plant employs 175 and routinely has 50 contract workers on site. The company said the explosion occurred in a processing unit at the site.
TPC processes petrochemicals for use in the manufacture of synthetic rubber, nylon, resins and plastics. The company supplies more than a third of the butadiene in North America, according to its website.
(Production: Ashraf Fahim)