Explosions reported at flooded Crosby chemical plant

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They warned us:

A fire broke out at the Arkema plant in Crosby early Thursday, following chemical explosions overnight that sent plumes of black smoke into the air.

Arkema officials warned that more explosions are likely because there are eight additional box vans of the same product at the plant, which is 25 miles northeast of downtown Houston. 

"We fully expect that the eight other containers will do the same thing," said Richard Rennard, who spoke at a press conference on Thursday on behalf of Arkema.

Authorities cautioned nearby residents to stay inside, turn off their air conditioning and close their windows and doors.

"You shouldn't be here, but if you haven't left, shelter in place," Arkema spokesman Jeff Carr said. "That's our advice."

Yet, they didn't clarify the extent of adverse health effects on residents who breathe in the fumes.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez likened it to barbecue smoke. Moments later, Assistant Chief Bob Royall with the Harris County Fire Marshall refused to make a similar comparison, instead calling it "smoke, with carbon particles in it."

"You don't want to stand in smoke, do you?" Royall said.

Rennard said health effects between the smoke at the facility and that of a camp fire were relative.

"They're noxious, certainly," Rennard said. "If you breathe in the smoke, it's going to irritate your lungs."

You can read the rest at the Houston Chronicle.

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