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9 hospitalized after fire at Texas chemical plant

Officials said there was little risk to the public, but plan to monitor air quality at the site of the fire.
A fire burns at a Shell chemical facility in Deer Park
Posted at 10:35 PM, May 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-06 05:45:22-04

Nine people were hospitalized after a fire at a chemical plant near Houston on Friday, officials said.

All personnel at the Shell facility in Deer Park, Texas, were accounted for after the fire, Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia said in a statement. 

Nine workers who were exposed to product underwent medical evaluations as a precautionary measure, according to a Facebook post by the City of Deer Park.

The fire sent up a plume of smoke that was briefly visible on weather radar, but there was little risk to anyone beyond the plant.

The ignited product included cracked heavy gas oil, cracked light gas oil and gasoline during routine maintenance, Shell Deer Park Chemicals said in a Facebook post.

Air monitoring has been underway and no harmful levels of chemicals have been detected, according to Shell.

Shell told the city of Deer Park it did not have reason to issue a shelter-in-place order at the time of the fire. People were told to avoid the immediate area.

The Harris County Fire Marshal's office and fire crews from the Shell plant and other nearby facilities responded to the fire.

The cause of the fire is undergoing an investigation.