1 injured, 400 without power after explosion at Texas chemical factory

Authorities say the cause of the explosion is under investigation.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
An explosion at a chemical plant in East Texas on Wednesday generated a plume of toxic black smoke which prompted authorities to issue an evacuation and shelter-in-place directive. A worker was injured from the event, and over 400 people have since been left without power, reports ABC 13

Video shows Sound Resouce Solutions, a Petroleum processing plant in Shepherd, Texas, engulfed in flames as toxic black smoke fills the skies.

Authorities say the cause of the explosion is under investigation and officials in San Jacinto and Polk County ordered residents to evacuate and/or shelter in place, according to NBC News.

The Polk County Emergency Management Office released a statement informing residents that the smoke from the destroyed facility contains chemicals that have "acute toxicity, carcinogenicity, and reproductive toxicity, and may cause serious eye damage or eye irritation, skin corrosion or irritation, aspiration hazard, and organ toxicity."

Geoff Harfield, the president of Sound Resource Solutions, said during a news briefing that one employee was injured in the explosion and was being treated for minor burns.

"First responders have done an amazing job. They've been very cautious. They've made sure everyone is safe," Harfield said, according to the network.

A video posted to X shows factory workers running to safety as the fire rages behind them.

Officials said in a news briefing that the fire has been contained and authorities will continue to monitor the air.

The explosion prompted the evacuation of a nearby private school and caused Highway 59 to close, officials said.

Republican Senator Ted Cruz issued a statement on X and said: "My team and I are closely monitoring the ongoing situation in San Jacinto County after an explosion at a chemical plant in Shepherd. Please heed the advisement of local officials and stay tuned to local news for updates. "

This is a developing story and will be updated.
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