Only a few minutes ago, Click-2-Houston reported that a shelter-in-place
was issued to the communities in Texas City. The order comes after a fire
started at a refinery owned by Valero. The energy company said it is currently
assessing the situation, as are investigators.
The official Twitter account of the City of Texas City stated "We
are aware that there has been an explosion at the Valero refinery in Texas
City...no other information is available at this time." They also
reported that there weren't any known casualties or injuries at the time.
ABC13 is reporting that the smoke is visible for miles. Initially, buses
at 21st Century transporting after-schoolers were being held in place,
but they have since been allowed to leave.
We're glad to hear that there are no reported injuries. We hope that
continues to be the case.
Refinery Explosion Update (9:59 p.m. EST)
Earlier today, we reported on a shelter-in-place that had been issued in
the Texas City area. At the time, the order was related to a fire started
at a Valero refinery. Since then, it has been confirmed that there was
an explosion at Valero Energy Corp’s refinery in Texas City that
set off a subsequent fire.
The 225,000 barrel-per-day refinery houses at least 280,000 pounds of hydrogen
fluoride, which is one of the most dangerous compounds used in the refining
process. There are also millions of pounds of flammables.
The explosion occurred at approximately 5 p.m. and could be heard from
5 miles away. Firefighting units from both Texas City and the nearby Marathon
Petroleum Corp refinery responded. Texas City Emergency Management stated
that the blaze was contained within an hour and a half.
No injuries have been reported.
“At this time, Valero has very little information as to the cause
of the fire,” said Valero spokeswoman Lillian Riojas. “Our
primary concern is for the safety of our workers.”