Evacuated residents return home after blaze at chemical plant

By Calvin Palmer

A fire at a chemical plant that saw a central Texas town put under a mandatory evacuation order was eventually brought under control yesterday evening.

The fire broke out around noon at the El Dorado Chemical Co, which processes ammonium nitrate into fertilizer, in the town of Bryan.

The explosive nature of the chemical and the plumes of smoke prompted officials to order an evacuation of the 70,000 residents.

The fire also caused the closure of the campus of Texas A&M University at nearby College Station.

By the evening, Fire Chief Mike Donoho said a majority of the residents could return to their homes. The evacuation order was still in effect for 30 homes close to the chemical plant.

Officials were unable to say how many residents were actually evacuated but at  least 34 people were treated at hospital for the effects of smoke inhalation.

At one point, the fire caused a plume of smoke to extend for 60 miles.

[Based on reports by the Houston Chronicle and Reuters.]

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1 Comment

Filed under Environment, News

One response to “Evacuated residents return home after blaze at chemical plant

  1. Glen P

    I still don’t understand why our Homeland Security isn’t protecting Chemical Plants in the US from attack/sabotage. This was just an accident. Imagine if someone had intention to do harm? These plants are all over the U.S., in rural areas but also in cities like Linden, NJ, right across the river from NYC. The Houston Ship Channel is lined with them as are the cities of Corpus Christi, Beaumont, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Gulfport … the list goes on. Bad, bad stuff in all of them – Hydrogen Sulfide, Ammonia, … on and on. The petrochemical (oil companies) won’t pony up for proper protection because they don’t want to pay for it. Really, this is where we should be focusing attention.

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