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Plant Blast Reported Near Houston Ship Channel

Photo of Benny Agosto

A La Porte plant erupted in flames this morning after a gas pipeline burst at Enterprise Products. At least two injuries have been reported in the workplace blast; firefighters have been on scene fighting the blaze since this morning. Two contract workers were treated onsite by emergency responders; their injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Initial reports indicate that the fire started at a flow meter in the middle of the plant but there is no news as to what started the fire itself. Flames could be seen shooting into the air near the oil and gas plant. Enterprise Products is in Morgan Point, an access point of the Houston Ship Channel. Crude oil and liquid natural gas are loaded onto barges at the facility for transport beyond the Houston port.

A small portion of the plant was evacuated; no shelter-in-place order was given.

The Port of Houston is home to one of the deadliest industrial accidents that has occurred in Texas. In 1947, a fire onboard a cargo ship in the Port ignited, triggering one of the largest non-nuclear blasts in the history of the United States. As many as 600 people were fatally injured in the Texas City blast.

Thankfully, such was not the case in today's blast. Incidents like today's Morgan Point blast are a reminder that the oil and gas industry that brings much revenue into Texas is also quite dangerous for those who work in, work near or live near and oil and gas facility.

Source: KXAN, "Fire erupts at plant in La Porte," December 31, 2013

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