A large chemical fire broke out at the Sound Resource Solutions plant in Shepherd, Texas Wednesday morning. According to KHOU 11, firefighters from 18 departments in four counties were called to the scene. The fire began with an explosion and burned for hours.
NBC DFW reported that a shelter-in-place order was issued for residents within a one-mile radius of the facility and a local highway was even closed. A large plume of smoke could be seen coming from the plant.
According to Reuters, Emmitt Eldridge, San Jacinto County emergency management coordinator, said the fire began after a forklift operator noticed chemicals leaking from a container at the plant. Eldridge added, "He then went to lift it up (using the forklift) and the worker then saw there was a fire." The forklift operator was sent to the hospital to be treated for minor burns.
KIRO 7 is reporting that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is aware that the plant housed chemicals known to be dangerous. Official said, “According to records recently received from TCEQ, the plant has reported housing Wood Turpentine, Phosphoric Acid, Xylene, Diesel Fuel, IMP-IC-2012, Sulfuric Acid, CDA-121, NP 9, Isopropyl Alcohol, IMB-BAC-2, AZA-121 Dispersant, and Acetic Acid.” Exposure to these chemicals can cause a host of problems, including cancer, reproductive issues, eye and skin irritation, and organ toxicity.