Excellent photos at link:
37 people injured from explosion at ExxonMobil plant in Baytown; shelter-in-place lifted by Michelle Iracheta and Jay R. Jordan, July 31, 2019, Houston Chronicle
UPDATE 3:12 p.m.
The shelter-in-place in Baytown has been lifted, and air monitoring near the explosion site has not detected anything concerning, according to a tweet from the city’s account.
UPDATE 2:55 p.m.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said she understood the concern the Baytown community was feeling, as it experienced its “fourth major fire since January.”
“It’s difficult to look out your window and see a plume of smoke. It’s frightening,” Hidalgo said. “It’s not right for us to live next to a petrochemical plant and live in fear sometimes.”
Harris County officials have been monitoring the situation since the explosion took place, she said.
UPDATE 2:25 p.m.
More than three dozen people were injured, none seriously, in an explosion and fire Wednesday at the ExxonMobil plant in Baytown, a company official said .
The 37 people were taken to an off-site clinic, said Jason Duncan, plant manager at ExxonMobil Baytown Olefins Plant. He described the injuries as all minor first-degree burns and non-life-threatening and that no one has been hospitalized.
He also said the company has not detected any adverse impact to the community.
Duncan said the fire has been “isolated” and that the company is still trying to determine what led to the fire and explosion.
UPDATE: 1 p.m.
At least six people are being treated for non life-threatening injuries, an ExxonMobil spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday.
“Care is being provided for six people with non life-threatening injuries,” said Sarah Nordin, spokeswoman for the ExxonMobil Corporation. “We are not aware of any other injuries to people at this time.”
A worker at the ExxonMobil Baytown Olefins Plant said he heard a “boom” before flames were seen shooting into the air.
Freddie Landry was working near the silo that is currently on fire, he told Chron.com.
“The crane guys were moving pipe for me so, we can proceed and finish our job,” Landry said. “I heard a big boom. The crane went up, and the guys said it exploded.
No hesitation. We all turned around and took off.”
The small crew eventually became trapped inside the plant grounds when they came to a fence corner. They couldn’t go back, Landry said, since that was where the fire was.
“The gates were locked, padlocked,” Landry said. “I started looking around and found some pipe we could step on and move over the gate.”
He eventually made it out of the facility and safely to the entrance of the facility in the 3500 block of Decker Drive.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Air Quality said it was aware of the fire at the ExxonMobil plant, and that it had staff en route.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) issued a statement Wednesday afternoon through its app ReadyHarris regarding the explosion at the Baytown ExxonMobil plant.
“Harris County Pollution Control is responding to the fire at the Exxon refinery in Baytown and will be collecting real-time air-quality information,” the statement read.
Exxon issued a shelter-in-place west of its plant and south of Spur 330, the county said in its statement.
A shelter-in-place means to stay indoors, keep doors and windows closed, turn off the air conditioning.
UPDATE: 12:10 p.m.
Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District issued a statement about the precautionary shelter-in-place for areas west of the plant.
Multiple schools were affected by the order including, Goose Creek Service Center, Robert E. Lee High School, Peter E. Hyland, IMPACT ECHS, San Jacinto Elementary, Travis Elementary and Baytown Junior High.
Natasha Barrett, spokeswoman with the City of Baytown, said the city’s fire department was on standby as ExxonMobil teams battled the fire Wednesday.
A reporter at the scene observed fire trucks from the ExxonMobil Mont Belvieu plastics plant arrive on scene to assist.
The police department was also directing traffic, she said.
ExxonMobil was sending a representative down to set up a media staging area, she said.
UPDATE: 11:55 a.m.
The city of Baytown is issuing a precautionary shelter-in-place, it tweeted.
Areas west of ExxonMobil should shelter-in-place, it said.
UPDATE: 11:48 a.m.
ExxonMobil released a statement that said their teams were working to extinguish the fire at the Baytown Olefins Plant at the 3500 block of Decker Drive.
“We are conducting personnel accounting, the statement read. “Our first priority remains the safety of people, including our employees, contractors and the community. As a precaution, our industrial hygiene staff is conducting air quality monitoring at the site and at the fenceline, and we are cooperating with regulatory agencies. We regret any disruption or inconvenience this incident may have caused the community.”
UPDATE: 11:38 a.m.
Joshua Howell, who lives in the Craigmont neighborhood near the Exxon plant, said he felt the explosion as he was driving home from work Wednesday.
It was loud enough to “shake windows and upset the dogs,” he said.
Community Awareness Emergency Response (CAER) said the emergency teams have responded to the fire at the ExxonMobil Baytown Complex.
“They are working to extinguish the fire. As a precaution, our Industrial Hygiene staff will conduct air quality monitoring around the complex and in the community,” it said in a statement.
According to a tweet from the City of Baytown, the fire is in the unit that contains polypropylene material. ExxonMobil has asked that a shelter-in-place be issued west of its plant and south of 330. Exxon advised this is out of an abundance of caution.
The Exxon plant in Baytown was dealing with a fire Wednesday morning, the city of Baytown reported on Twitter.
Chatter on Twitter regarding the black smoke seen from the highway at the ExxonMobil plant began shortly after 11 a.m.
KHOU reported that the facility had experienced an explosion.
Photos posted to social media showed a black plume of smoke rising from a facility, but no other information was available.
There was no shelter- in-place, tweeted the city of Baytown.
News clip of the fire and black smoke at link below:
Shelter-in-place issued for areas west of Exxon plant fire in Baytown and south of 330, This is happening at the ExxonMobil Baytown Complex at 3525 Decker Drive by Chloe Alexander, July 31, 2019, KHOU11
BAYTOWN, Texas — Emergency crews are responding to a fire at the ExxonMobil Baytown Complex on Decker Drive in east Harris County.
Out of an abundance of caution, the facility has issued a shelter in place west of the plant and south of 330.
Shelter-in-place means to stay indoors, keep doors and windows closed and turn off the air conditioning, according to Harris County OHSEM.
Emergency response teams are monitoring air quality around the complex and in the community. There are no reported injuries.
Ed Gonzalez @SheriffEd_HCSO
@HCSOTexas is aware of the incident at the Exxon facility in Baytown. No shelter in place reported right now. We are monitoring the situation and ready to respond if a police response is needed. #HouNews
10:17 AM – Jul 31, 2019
Joshua Howell, who lives near the plant, said he heard and felt the explosion from his home.
“Sirens going off like crazy, news helicopters overhead. Low constant hum audible from my home. Not sure what exploded but it shook the neighborhood,” Howell tweeted. He said he can see the smoke from his front yard.
City of Baytown, TX @CityofBaytown UPDATE CAER Message from @ExxonMobilBTA below:
Our emergency response teams have responded to a fire at our ExxonMobil Baytown Complex. As a precaution, our Industrial Hygiene staff will conduct air quality monitoring around the complex and in the community.
10:22 AM – Jul 31, 2019
The plant released the following statement on Twitter:
“A fire has occurred at our Baytown Olefins Plant and our fire team is working to extinguish the fire. We are conducting personnel accounting. Our first priority remains the safety of people, including our employees, contractors and the community. As a precaution, our industrial hygiene staff is conducting air quality monitoring at the sire and at the fenceline, and we are cooperating with regulatory agencies. We regret any disruption or inconvenience this incident may have caused the community.”
Several KHOU 11 viewers have sent in photos and videos of the plant fire.
Soooo something just exploded in Exxon
9:53 AM – Jul 31, 2019
We have a crew at the scene gathering more details.
Check back for updates.
Refer also to:
Paramount Resources Ltd. Shelter-in-Place Procedures recently distributed in the Town of Fox Creek, Alberta:
IT’S A BIG ONE! AER Order against Sprocket Energy sour gas well leak/spill (by frac hit?) six km SW of Town of Fox Creek. Why no media coverage on possibly life-threatening, brain damaging leak near busy Smoke Lake Provincial Park Campground?
Why is 320,000 litre spill 36 km NE of Swan Hills splashed all over the media, but not the bigger 460,000 litre spill at sour gas well in AER’s Frac Frenzy Blanket Approval Pilot Project 6 km from Town of Fox Creek? Because it was a frac hit? AER instructing media to deflect concerned Canadians in another direction?
Philadelphia: Authorities proclaim air safe to breath up and down wind of Energy Solutions Inc’s massive refinery blasts and fire, even after explosions in “highly toxic chemical” hydrofluric acid akylation unit, metal debris landed a mile away and air testing not yet complete.