One injured in rural Texas chemical plant blaze -local media

HOUSTON (Reuters) – One person was injured on Wednesday in a large fire at a rural chemical distribution plant northeast of Houston, according to local media reports.

Residents within one mile of Sound Resource Solutions located 61 miles (99 km) northeast of Houston were told to shelter in homes and businesses as the fire continued to burn creating a large plume of black smoke over a rural area near Shepherd, Texas, according to the media reports.

The shelter-in-place zone was originally five miles, but was later reduced in size, according to KPRC-TV in Houston.

Sound Resource Solutions blends, packages and distributes industrial chemicals including sulfuric acid, acetone and petrochemicals like xylene and toluene, according to the company’s website.

U.S. Highway 59 was closed north of Shepherd because of the fire, according to media reports.

Rural Texas communities have been frequent sites of chemical plant explosions and fires.

In 2013, 15 people were killed and 160 injured in a fertilizer storage facility explosion in the town of West, Texas. In 2017, industrial peroxide at an Arkema storage site in Crosby, Texas exploded during Hurricane Harvey.

Four towns in east Texas were evacuated when a TPC Group butadiene plant exploded in Port Neches, Texas in 2018.

(Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Chris Reese)

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