9 contractors released from hospital after Shell Chemical Plant fire in Deer Park

A fire broke out on Friday at a Shell chemical plant in Deer Park, Texas, leaving nine people hospitalized. According to reports, five people were flown to the hospital as a precautionary measure due to the intense heat, and three others were taken by ground transportation. However, all nine contractors have been assessed and discharged after precautionary medical evaluations. Meanwhile, air monitoring is ongoing, and no harmful levels of chemicals have been detected so far. The fire is said to have occurred due to a heat exchange between two heavy diesel fuels.

The Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez confirmed that the fire was diminishing and contained by 5:40 pm on Friday. The exact chemical that was burning has yet to be identified. However, smoke could be seen billowing from afar on SKY 2 cameras, including small flares and plumes of dark smoke that had been seen throughout the facility for hours after the explosion.

The Community Awareness Emergency Response (CAER) system stated that there was no threat posed to the community from the incident. The Shell officials confirmed that a Shelter in Place alert had not been issued for the City of Deer Park that afternoon. Additionally, the school dismissal took place on Friday afternoon according to their regular schedule.

The fire had occurred at the Shell Chemical Plant, which has been functional in the city of Deer Park since 1929. The plant contains a variety of equipment, including processing equipment, control rooms, office buildings, storage tanks, environmental protection equipment, shops, and warehouses, and operates 24/7.

The Harris County Fire Marshal and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office were alerted of the situation and called upon to respond. Meanwhile, the Houston Fire Department is also at the scene of the incident, providing mutual aid. The ITC Deer Park fire from 2019 remains fresh in the minds of the residents and authorities alike; hence, prompt action was taken to prevent a similar situation.

While the cause of the incident is still being investigated, the quick action taken by the authorities and Shell officials in alerting the community, implementing safety measures, and providing timely medical attention to contractors has helped prevent a significant catastrophe.

Content and Photo credit go to Texas Standard

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