Explosion and fire at Baytown chemical plant
(7/02/06 - KTRK/BAYTOWN, TX) (KTRK) -- ExxonMobil says no dangerous chemicals were released into the air after an explosion at a Baytown plant.
The blast happened Sunday at the refinery on Bayway. Officials report there was an explosion in the plant's rubber processing unit followed by a fire. A shelter in place order was issued to those in the vicinity while crews put out the blaze.
No one was injured. Neighbors say they could feel the blast that knocked out their power for a while.
"I've been here for 25 years and we live with it all the time," said nearby resident Lynn Baker. "So, you know, you just take your chances."
The cause of the explosion is under investigation. ExxonMobil says it has notified all appropriate federal agencies of the explosion. The ExxonMobil Baytown petrochemical complex is the largest of its kind anywhere in the world. It houses a refinery, two chemical plants, and two research centers. The complex employs 4,000 people.
The last time we visited the plant was in January when an accidental chemical release left an oily residue all over a nearby public housing complex. In a letter to residents, ExxonMobil explained that steam containing oil was released from a vent and carried over a fence by wind. The company said samples taken from the area showed no reason for health concerns.
(Copyright © 2006, KTRK-TV)
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