Chemical Plant Explosion Near Houston Blackens Skies, Injures One


A man in shorts and a ballcap walks his dog in front of a massive plume of black smoke

Photo: Marie D. De Jesús/Houston Chronicle (AP)

Residents of San Jacinto County, Texas – approximately 60 miles northeast of Houston – have been ordered to shelter in place after a chemical plant exploded Wednesday morning, according to a report published by Reuters. One person is reported to have been injured in a forklift injury, but is in stable condition and a single highway was closed.

The explosion occurred at a factory in Shepherd, Texas called Sound Resource Solutions which focuses on blending and distributing oil-based products such as xylene and toluene as well as other chemicals like sulfuric acid and acetone.

It’s not immediately clear what caused the incident, but reports have stated that there is a massive 4,000 gallon propane tank at the center of the conflagration as well as a large natural gas main.

Texas has a bad track record of industrial explosions in recent years, with the worst incident occurring a decade ago in the town of West, Texas where a fertilizer plant exploded killing 15 people and injuring more than 160. More recently, in 2018, four east Texas towns were ordered to evacuate after a butadiene plant in Port Neches exploded.

We reached out to Sound Resource Solutions for comment, but didn’t hear back in time for publication.