Harris County has filed a lawsuit against Arkema Inc. regarding the events that unfolded on their property during Hurricane Harvey. On Thursday August 31, 2017, explosions were reported at the Arkema plant in Crosby, Texas. The major flooding from Hurricane Harvey resulted in Arkema’s power and redundant power systems failing. This led to some of the chemicals on-site to begin to heat up and ultimately explode. This caused plumes of thick, black smoke to be released into the air. Harris County is attempting to recuperate the expenses that were incurred by having their personnel respond to the scene. Precinct 2 Commissioner Jack Morman stated, “We’ve shown if you’re a bad actor, we’ll hold you accountable.” The county seems to be attempting to set a precedent that if you do not properly prepare for an emergency like this, you will have to pay.
Following the initial explosions at the plant, residents within a 1.5-mile radius of the facility were warned to evacuate. This is approximately 300 homes that were evacuated due to the crisis. Deputies and medical personnel responded to the crisis in an effort to clear the evacuation zone and keep the public safe. In their efforts, some first responders reported feeling sick, vomiting, and gasping for air. These reports indicate that unsafe atmospheric conditions were likely present in the areas where the responders were located. Attorneys fault Arkema and Bureau Veritas, the environmental testing company responsible for sampling the air near the facility, for withholding critical information from the public about the toxic fumes that would consequently result from the explosion. Arkema’s denies allegations that Arkema failed to warn the public about the chemical hazards around the facility. They also commented that the flood water raising was an unforeseeable event in which they were not readily equipped for.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a plant explosion, the experienced lawyers at the law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner can assist with your claim. Call us today at 713-396-3964 or 800-594-4884 for your free consultation.