Two injured, one feared dead in Texas chemicals blast

Article by Adam Duckett

TWO workers have been injured and one remains missing following an explosion at a chemicals plant in Texas, US.

Investigators believe a worker dragging his foot along the factory floor sparked the blast, Associated Press reports, though this theory has been called into question after it was noted that staff wear special boots to prevent such an ignition.

The blast occurred on Thursday at a plant owned by Tri-Chem Industries in Cresson, 80 km southwest of Dallas. Reportedly, chemicals were being mixed as the worker caused the spark. He is said to have caught fire from the waist up and has been airlifted to hospital with critical burns. Another worker was also taken to hospital with less severe injuries.

Emergency-rescue and fire-fighting efforts had to be called off because of the risk of exposure to toxic fumes from the ongoing fire and fears of another blast.

Once the flames died down, crews entered to search for the missing worker but were unable to find him. An official from the Department of Public Safety said if the worker is in the wreckage of the plant he is believed to be dead.

Authorities said the chemicals mixed on site are used by the oil and gas industry to drill disposal wells but have declined a request from Associated Press to hand over a full list.

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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