Plant Explosions, Spills Test Industry’s Response to Harvey

Friday, September 1, 2017
By MATTHEW BROWN, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Explosions and fires at a Texas chemical plant inundated by Harvey’s floodwaters are raising questions about the adequacy of industry preparations for the monster storm and stoking fears of more accidents in the days ahead.

As portions of the plant erupted in flames for the second day in a row, its owners said Friday they would let 500,000 pounds (227,000 kilograms) of liquid organic peroxide that caused two explosions continue to burn, because they have no way to cool the unstable chemical to prevent it from igniting.

Eric Frumin, health and safety director for a federation of labor unions, Change to Win, said the plant flooding was foreseeable.

“They clearly knew they were in a hurricane zone and could lose power because they had backup generators,” he said. “Where was their ‘plan C’?”

Read the full story from Associated Press

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