Last Friday, we reported that an explosion at the TPC Group plant in Port Neches, Texas sent at least three workers to area hospitals. The explosion was powerful enough to cause nearby homes, schools, and businesses to sustain considerable damage. Fires continued to burn until Saturday, and at least two distillation towers collapsed as the plant burned.
Tens of thousands of residents within four miles of the TPC Group plant had to leave their homes as the facility continued to burn. Many of them returned to find shattered windows and destroyed roofing. Now, CNN has confirmed that at least eight people have received treatment for injuries caused by the blast.
Chemical & Asbestos Concerns Because of the TPC Gour Plant Explosion
Authorities are monitoring air quality because of the presence of chemicals and asbestos at the TPB Group plant. First, they are concerned about butadiene, a gas which is linked to cancer. It’s used to produce synthetic rubber, and the plant produces it for chemical and petroleum companies.
According to OSHA, exposure to butadiene can cause the following:
- Irritation to the eyes, throat, nose, and lungs
- Central nervous system damage
- Distorted vision
- Low blood pressure
- Low pulse rate
- Headaches & nausea
Authorities are also concerned about possible asbestos contamination to the areas surrounding the plant. Authorities are urging residents to avoid touching debris from the explosion, which may be in or around their homes. Since portions of the plant were completed in the 1940s, it had pipe coverings consisting of asbestos. This substance is linked to cancers such as mesothelioma and other serious diseases. Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick, who issued the evacuation order for Port Neches, is urging residents to alert the presence of any white, chalky substance to TPC and to avoid touching it.
12News reports that butadiene and asbestos are not the only hazardous substances that might have ignited after the initial blasts at the plant. In total, 71 tanks were in use to store materials under pressure, and at least 9 tanks sustained damage. These tanks contained raffinate, butadiene, crude 4, poly blend, and rich relevant. Four of these substances evaporate at a low temperature, and authorities allowed them to burn off because of this.
If you’ve suffered because of the Port Neches TPC plant explosion, Arnold & Itkin is ready to help. Our Port Arthur plant explosion attorneys are standing by to take your call at (888) 493-1629 and will help you explore your options at no cost.