Drillchem, a Conroe, Texas, plant, went up in flames as an explosion rocked the building. According to news channel KHOU Houston, Texas, “a series of explosions triggered a huge 3-alarm fire at the DrillChem plant” on Friday, August 14th in the afternoon. There’s been no word of injuries amidst the confusion that has followed the explosion.
According to their website, DrillChem is an oil industry supply company that creates sealants, shale inhibitors, and lubricants.
The explosion caused tall streams of black smoke to rise into the air, causing a situation at the DrillChem plant that was very dangerous for first responders and anyone within a two mile radius of the DrillChem plant. More than 50 firefighters and first responders rushed to the DrillChem plant and to the scene, along with a HazMat team.
The explosion was reportedly so powerful that firefighters couldn’t start putting foam on the flames until just before 6 p.m. According to Montgomery County Fire Marshal Jimmy Williams, who spoke to local news stations, the firefighters had to let the fire burn down in the event that “hazardous chemicals or materials were involved.”
According to the Courier Of Montgomery County, Conroe Fire Marshal Mike Legoudes said, “We were asking residents and people in businesses to stay inside the buildings,”due to the danger of the DrillChem explosion. “We also asked them to shut off the air conditioning. Anytime the AC is running, it can draw in air from the outside. The initial concern was that there might be something in the air that could cause harm.”
The fire marshal continued, “The HazMat team has been down there for quite a while, doing air monitoring, taking samples of different things in the area. So far, they haven’t found anything concerning.”
Eye witnesses claim that the first explosion at DrillChem occurred around 4:40 p.m., and was followed by other explosions, although it’s not clear exactly how many followed. In response to the explosion, local authorities closed down nearby roads, and the explosion caused authorities to issue a warning to anyone within a two mile radius of the plant. A temporary shelter has been created for anyone within that two mile radius, reports KHOU Houston, Texas.
To keep residents safe, local firefighters also issued a warning that advised residents to “turn off their air conditioners and keep doors and windows closed.”
“Sometimes the best plan of attack may be not any attack at all,” Fire Marshal Williams advised the local news stations about the DrillChem explosion. “They don’t want to do anything to endanger firefighters.”
[Image credit: John Moore/Getty Images]