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Two Explosions Reported at Flooded Texas Chemical Plant; Officers Hospitalized (UPDATED)

The CEO of Arkema Inc., Richard Rowe, recently warned the community that an explosion was imminent at his chemical plant because of flooding from Hurricane Harvey.

Multiple news reports are now saying that there have been two explosions at the plant, and black smoke is emanating around the area. The water knocked out the plant’s generators, which cut power to the refrigeration system for the plant’s sensitive materials.

According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, one of their deputies was hospitalized, and nine of his colleagues went to receive medical treatment following the blasts. The officers reportedly complained of dizziness and nausea after inhaling the fumes coming from the plant.

Local residents who lived 1.5 miles away from the plant were evacuated during flood relief efforts earlier this week, and citizens are being asked to stay away. Arkema released a public statement saying local officials have been briefed on the situation, and that it would be best if fires at the plant are allowed to burn themselves out.

Watch above, via CBS.

UPDATE – 9:29 a.m. EST: Police have given an update on the Arkema situation, where they backed away from the description of “explosions” at the plant. Officials described the incident as a fire, and the blasts were actually a series of pops that happened after some of the chemicals ignited due to rising temperatures.

UPDATE – 11:19 a.m. EST: The Harris County Sheriff’s Office has some good news about their hospitalized deputies.

[Image via screengrab]

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