An explosion occurred at the TPC chemical plant in Port Neches shortly after midnight on November 27, 2019. A number of structures at the facility caught fire, and plumes of black smoke could be seen in the air as far as 50 miles away from the site. The blast shattered windows in nearby neighborhoods.
A second explosion occurred later that afternoon. Launching a ball of fire to the sky. This resulted in the county judge issuing a mandatory evacuation order for residents within 4 miles of the blasts. The evacuation was due to the fear of more explosions to come. “The concern is that if another one were to launch — and there are a bunch left — and it was to go into the tank farm, the results would be catastrophic,” said Judge Branick. The order affected around 50,000 people living in Port Neches, Groves, Nederland, Central Gardens, Beauxart Gardens, and Port Arthur.
One of the resulting fires caused a tower to be propelled into the air. It crashed down near Port Neches-Groves High School. Fortunately, students were not present when the tower landed.
The explosions had officials concerned for the health and safety of residents. The TPC Group makes materials for petroleum and chemical factories. One of the substances burning in the fires is a known carcinogen called butadiene, which is used to make synthetic rubber, plastic, and nylon. If heated, this highly flammable gas can explode.
Additionally, some of the structures and equipment used at the plant contained asbestos, which has been linked to various cancers. However, officials reported that they did not measure elevated levels of that substance in the air.
Officials told individuals not to pick up any debris. Instead, they urged residents to call the TPC Group hotline for cleanup.
Around 200 employees work at the chemical plant, which includes both full-time staff and contractors. Officials reported that 30 people were onsite at the time of the initial explosion. The blast injured 2 employees and 1 contractor. They were treated at nearby hospitals and released.
Were You Injured in The Chemical Plant Explosion?
Walker Texas Lawyer is experienced with industrial and chemical plant injury cases. He is currently reviewing injury cases related to the Port Neches explosion. If you or a loved one were harmed, reach out to us today. James Walker understands the devastation that injuries from this explosion can cause. Walker is committed to holding the companies and other entities financially liable for damages. He will work hard toward recovering just compensation on your behalf.