Officials have evacuated workers from the Arkema site in Crosby as flooding has created a risk of a chemical reaction leading to fire or possible explosion.

Source: 1.5 mile radius around Crosby plant evacuated amid risk of explosion | abc13.com

Officials have evacuated workers and residents within 1.5 mile from the Arkema site in Crosby as flooding has created a risk of a chemical reaction leading to fire or possible explosion.

According to plant officials, the situation has become serious.

The plant has been shut down since Friday when site leaders were anticipating landfall of Hurricane Harvey. The location received more than 40 inches of rainfall, leaving the site heavily flooded and without electricity since early Sunday morning.

Back-up generators have largely been inundated with water. A small ride-out crew of 11 people remained on site for the last few days, but by Tuesday afternoon, the decision to evacuate all personnel was made.

Arkema officials are working with the Department of Homeland Security and the State of Texas to set up a command post in a suitable location near the site. Refrigeration on some of the back-up product storage containers has been compromised due to extremely high water, which is unprecedented in the Crosby area.

Authorities are monitoring the temperature of each refrigeration container remotely. At this time, they say they do not believe there is any imminent danger, but the potential for a chemical reaction leading to a fire and/or explosion within the site confines is real.

Arkema manufactures organic peroxides at their Crosby plant. The product needs to be stored at a low temperature.

 

 

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Arkema Statement: Status of Plant in Crosby, Texas

6:50 pm est., August 29, 2017

The Arkema site in Crosby, Texas has been shut-down since Friday.

The site anticipated the storm, and safely shut down all operations before hurricane landfall. The facility has had extraordinary levels of rain, receiving approximately 40 inches by Monday afternoon. The site has been heavily flooded and without electric service since early Sunday morning. Back-up generators have largely been inundated with water. A small ride-out crew of eleven people had remained on site for some days.

As of late this afternoon, the situation at the Crosby site had become serious.  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 manufactures organic peroxides at the Crosby plant. The primary challenge has been maintaining refrigeration for these products, which are stored at low temperature. The site lost refrigeration to all of its cold-storage warehouses when electrical power was lost and back-up generators were flooded. Our team then transferred products from the warehouses into diesel-powered refrigerated containers, and continued to monitor the situation.

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.

We have no higher priority than the safety of our employees, neighbors and the environment. We have been working without pause to keep our materials safe.

http://www.arkema-americas.com/en/social-responsibility/incident-news