The Intercontinental Terminals Company chemical plant caught fire on Independence Parkway in Deer Park late in the morning on March 17, 2019. 30 ITC refinery workers were on the scene at the time the tank fire started. The fire was reported as “uncontrolled.” A public information officer for ITC chemical plant said the fire was reported just before 10:30 am.
The burning fire at the ITC chemical plant is naphtha, which is a flammable oil containing various hydrocarbons, obtained by the dry distillation of organic substances such as coal, shale, or petroleum. The fire has burned out of control despite the efforts of ITC workers and local firefighters to contain it. It is expected to burn through the night.
“Air monitoring is being done by authorities and ITC. Harris County pollution control and Harris county Hazmat is on the scene and they’re evaluating the air quality and we’re awaiting their results,” Alice Richardson with ITC told the media at the briefing.
Deer Park officials are warning local residents to shelter in place as the city declares the fire at ITC an emergency.
“City of Deer Park issuing SHELTER-IN-PLACE emergency in Deer Park,” the city wrote in a tweet at 10:58 a.m. “Please take immediate action and seek shelter.”
Over 24 hours later, the fire remained uncontrolled.
“As of 3:30 p.m., we are fighting the fire defensively in order to ensure it does not spread,” said ITC in a press release. “The safety of our employees, our surrounding community and the environment is our first priority.” It could last days, officials say.
The Deer Park chemical plant is the second to catch fire after ExxonMobil plant in Baytown last Saturday.
Our industrial accident attorneys at Morrow & Sheppard LLP regularly handle cases involving catastrophic injuries throughout the United States with a focus in Texas and Louisiana. If you or a loved one has been injured while working at a plant or refinery, you may be entitled to compensation, contact us for a free consultation today.