Disasters & Accidents

5 Hospitalized after fire erupts at industrial plant outside Houston, Texas

Washington, May 5 (EFE).- Five contractors were hospitalized for precautionary reasons after a large fire erupted Friday at a Shell refinery industrial facility outside Houston, Texas, officials said.

Ed Gonzalez, the sheriff of Harris County, where Houston is located, initially said on Twitter that the fire had been caused by an explosion but subsequently issued a correction.

“Update: I’m at the scene. Preliminary info: No off-site impact. There was no explosion, it was a fire. A heat exchange between two heavy gas oils,” he tweeted. “Fire is diminishing and contained.The product is being depressurized. Visible flares are there to relieve pressure.”

His reports indicated that none of those taken to the hospital had suffered serious injuries.

“5 contractors have been transported to the hospital for precautionary reasons, largely due to the heat. No serious injuries have been reported,” Gonzalez wrote.

Images uploaded by local television stations and social media users showed a huge column of smoke and an intense blaze amid the plant’s towers, as well as a vehicle spraying water in a bid to control the fire.

The Fox 26 Houston television station had initially reported that an explosion had occurred at a plant owned by Mexican state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) in the Deer Park industrial complex.

But in a later update, it made no mention of an explosion and said the fire “has been confirmed to be at the Shell Deer Park industrial plant.” EFE


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