Toxic Chemicals Plume the Air with Plant Explosion

plant explosion
Photo of the plume of smoke | Image by Precinct 2 Constable San Jacinto County

Multiple explosions from a plant that makes glue and paint remover solvents are being reported in Shepherd, Texas, on Wednesday as residents are being advised to shelter in place until further notice.

Around 8:30 a.m. on November 8, a major explosion occurred at Sound Resource Solutions in San Jacinto County.

According to the Polk County Office of Emergency Management’s news release, 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.”

“These chemicals are known to 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,” the release warns.

Amid the flames, there reportedly exists a propane tank with a capacity of 1,000 gallons. Additionally, beneath the ground lies a 4-inch natural gas main, according to a source of Eyewitness News, per ABC13 Houston.

The San Jacinto Office of Emergency Management initially advised residents within a 5-mile radius to take shelter. However, the advised radius was later revised to 1 mile, as reported by USA Today.

Polk County Emergency Management reported, “At this time, TCEQ is mobilizing an air monitoring unit to set up in Polk County. This will provide more information about the hazards we are dealing with and appropriate safety measures.”

One employee was hospitalized with minor burns, with the approximate 40 other employees being safe, says Sound Chemical Solutions President Geoff Harfield, per USA Today.

Polk’s emergency management office will continue to update this page with developments. 

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