Explosion, fire at floodhit chemical plant

Ben Gruber
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Officials in flooded Houston are concerned that the Arkema chemical plant might explode.

A fire official says authorities are monitoring a flooded chemical plant near Houston after a blaze caused by an explosion was put out.

Explosions and fires rocked the flood-crippled Arkema plant in Crosby early on Thursday.

The plant's owners have warned more explosions could follow because a loss of refrigeration is causing chemicals stored there to degrade and burn.

Harris County Fire Marshal spokeswoman Rachel K. Moreno says the fire that began in a trailer at the plant went out around noon. She says eight other trailers on the site are being monitored.

Moreno said her agency was notified on Tuesday morning about the facility's power outage, which they believe was caused by flooding.

Fire and police are maintaining the 2.5 kilometre buffer indefinitely.

She says officials are uncertain about water levels at the facility because they aren't sending first responders beyond the buffer zone.