Crosby Ammonia Plant in Danger of Exploding As Harvey Fallout Continues

Crosby chemical plant at risk of fire, explosion

Crosby chemical plant at risk of fire, explosion

The plant has been on shutdown since Friday in anticipation of the hurricane.

Similar chemicals actually caught fire at the now infamous fertilizer plant in West, and the explosion left the site and the surrounding town looking like a bomb had been dropped on it.

Fire marshals instructed residents in Crosby to evacuate Tuesday as a precautionary measure since it's located within a two mile perimeter of the Arkema site. On Tuesday, all of the plant's workers were sent home, residents within 1.5 miles of the plant were evacuated, and a nearby stretch of highway was shut down after the plant was inundated with water from Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent flooding. The danger is posed by the lack of powered cooling equipment to prevent the heat-sensitive organic peroxides from reaching unsafe temperatures.

The company said it was working with officials from the Department of Homeland Security.

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"As of late this afternoon (August 29), the situation at the Crosby site had become serious".

The Arkema facility was among the Houston-area sites with the highest potential for harm in an incident, according to a 2016 analysis by the O'Connor Process Safety Center and the Houston Chronicle. Chemical refrigeration at the plant has been compromised due to high water and lack of power. "Our team then transferred products from the warehouses into diesel-powered refrigerated containers, and continued to monitor the situation", he said. The company said in a site status update that regulatory agencies have also been notified of the situation.

The reason this was such a big deal is because the primary challenge to getting the Arkema plant through the storm safely has been ensuring the products, which are supposed to be stored at very low temperatures, keep cool. We are monitoring the temperature of each refrigeration container remotely.

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