By WSJ Staff
Industrial chemical manufacturer Arkema SA said early Thursday it has been notified about two explosions and black smoke coming from its plant in Crosby, Texas, after flooding due to Tropical Storm Harvey.
The Arkema plant some 25 miles northeast of Houston, was evacuated late Tuesday, as the company said it had “no way to prevent” a potentially large explosion or fire as a result of the shutdown of critical refrigeration of some materials.
The company said in a statement Thursday that it is working closely with federal, state and local authorities to manage the situation.
The plant lost primary power and two emergency backup power sources, which led to a shutdown of “critical refrigeration needed for our materials,” Chief Executive Rich Rowe said Wednesday. Those materials were at risk of exploding as a result, he said, adding that “the high water that exists on site, and the lack of power, leave us with no way to prevent it.”
The company had urged everyone within a mile and a half of the plant to evacuate, and shut down a stretch of Highway 90 that runs alongside the plant, which produces organic peroxides for things like acrylic-based paint.