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Crosby Ammonia Plant in Danger of Exploding As Harvey Fallout Continues

31 August 2017

Flooding has also compromised those backup containers, although the company continues to monitor temperature levels remotely, Reuters reported.

The Arkema chemical plant in Crosby is likely to explode.

The company evacuated remaining workers on Tuesday, and Harris County ordered the evacuation of residents in a 1.5-mile (2.4-km) radius of the plant that makes organic peroxides used in the production of plastic resins, polystyrene, paints and other products.

The plant manufactures organic peroxides and ammonia, key ingredients in biodegradable herbicides, pesticides and animal feed supplements.

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Tammy Peek is one of those evacuees.

"You have put our lives in jeopardy", Peek posted.

Rowe described this evacuation radius as "conservative", and said he expects that the effects of a fire or explosion would be contained on the site's facilities.

The reason this was such a big deal is because the primary challenge to getting the Arkema plant through the storm safely has been ensuring the products, which are supposed to be stored at very low temperatures, keep cool.

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Yesterday, the company said: "The situation at the Crosby site has become serious". "The high water and lack of power leave us with no way to prevent it".

The plant has been on shutdown since Friday in anticipation of the hurricane.

Companies typically would have the ability to quench the organic peroxides in situations like this with another chemical so it's no longer unsafe.

Emergency services have been monitoring the plant as it was forced to be abandoned yesterday due to the storm.

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"There is a potential for a chemical reaction leading to a fire at the facility, which could produce a large amount of black smoke", the fire marshal, citing Arkema, said. According to a safe storage manual by AkzoNobel, a rival chemical manufacturer, that class of chemicals is considered "highly combustible".

Crosby Ammonia Plant in Danger of Exploding As Harvey Fallout Continues