A large fire at a petrochemical terminal in Houston, TX broke out Sunday evening. The fire spread to eight tanks, though one is said to be empty. Authorities claim that air quality in the area is within normal guidelines. We are skeptical of their findings. No injuries have been reported, luckily, but we are concerned about the potential health impacts that this incident will have on surrounding communities. You can read more about this story here.
USA Today, Juan Lozano, March 19, 2019 - Large fire at Houston chemical plant expected to burn for days
“A large fire at a Houston-area petrochemicals terminal will likely burn for another two days, authorities said Monday, noting that air quality around the facility was testing within normal guidelines.
The fire erupted Sunday at Intercontinental Terminals Company in Deer Park, about 15 miles southeast of Houston. Firefighters were working to control the blaze, and the company said the risk of explosion remained “minimal.”
ITC has said all employees have been accounted for and no injuries have been reported. A huge plume of smoke could be seen for miles, including from the Galveston Ferry, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) southeast of the blaze. Officials estimated the plume rose 3,000 feet (914 meters) to 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) into the air.
The company said the fire spread to seven storage tanks holding components of gasoline and also used in nail polish remover, glues and paint thinner. ITC initially said the fire had spread to eight tanks, but company official David Wascome scaled back the number Monday, saying one of the tanks was empty.” (USA Today, Juan Lozano, March 19, 2019)