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Arkema fears explosion at chemical plant

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Arkema has announced that the situation at its chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, US, has become “serious” following recent flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.

While the site anticipated the storm and shut down all operations before hurricane landfall, Arkema reports that the facility has had “extraordinary levels of rain”. The site has been heavily flooded and without electric service since early Sunday morning.

The statement read: “In order to ensure the safety of our ride-out team, all personnel have been evacuated from the site at this time. We are working with the Department of Homeland Security and the State of Texas to set up a command post in a suitable location near our site. We also have been in contact with other regulatory authorities, who are aware of this situation.”

Arkema said that the primary challenge has been maintaining refrigeration for the organic peroxides products that are manufactured at the facility.The site lost refrigeration to all of its cold-storage warehouses when electrical power was lost and back-up generators were flooded. The statement continued: “At this time, refrigeration on some of our back-up product storage containers has been compromised due to extremely high water, rising to levels that are unprecedented in the Crosby area. Arkema is limited in what it can do to address the site conditions until the storm abates. We are monitoring the temperature of each refrigeration container remotely. At this time, while we do not believe there is any imminent danger, the potential for a chemical reaction leading to a fire and/or explosion within the site confines is real.”

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