A chemical fire that resulted from an explosion at the INEOS Phenol Cumene plant in Pasadena has been extinguished by firefighters, according to local reports.
The blast took place on plant grounds close to the Houston Ship Channel near Highway 225 at around midday, causing large plumes of black smoke that could be seen as far as Southwest Houston.
Pasadena firefighters immediately responded to the incident, and the fire was put out just over an hour after the explosion.
The city of Pasadena has not issued any protective measures for nearby communities, and there is no information on any injuries to workers at the plant.
The INEOS Phenol Cumene plant specializes in producing cumene, a clear, colorless liquid that is commonly used as a thinner for paints, lacquers, and enamels, as well as a component of high octane fuels.
The cause of the explosion is still unknown, and the extent of the damage has not been reported.
The plant’s website stated that cumene production had been temporarily shut down for maintenance work in early March but had since resumed normal operations.
The incident has raised concerns about the safety of chemical plants in the area and their potential impact on nearby communities.
The Houston Ship Channel is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the United States and is also home to many oil refineries and chemical plants.