Explosion Rocks Texas Refinery, Injures 3 Workers

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The shockwave of the blast has damaged walls in nearby homes and even shattered windows miles away, according to early reports on social media, but the cause of the blast is still unknown.

The local Nederland Volunteer Fire Department said a mandatory evacuation had been ordered for everyone living within a 1/2 mile radius of the plant.

The first explosion occurred at around 1.00 a.m. on Wednesday and was heard and felt throughout Port Neches, where 13,000 residents live.

TPC officials know that at least three tanks have been damaged by the blaze, but firefighters have not been able to fully assess damage at the plant as they remain in a defensive position, Monk said.

Personnel have been evacuated from the plant, which makes products for chemical and petroleum companies, said TPC Group, which runs the Port Neches Operations site.

12NewsNow reported that the blast took place near the intersection of Park Street and Highway 366.

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"The event is on going, but will be brought under control as quickly and safely as possible", the group, which makes products derived from petrochemical raw materials such as C4 hydrocarbons, said in a statement.

Teams have been sent to the facility's fence line and surrounding neighborhoods to test air quality, officials said.

"Our focus is on protecting the safety of responders and the public, and minimizing any impact to the environment", TPC Group said.

The refinery is owned by TPC Group, which has reportedly accounted for all of its employees. About 13,000 people live in Port Neches, and some said their home windows were blown out by the blast. "Please keep all emergency workers and plant workers in your prayers as they deal with the aftermath".

Others characterized the blast as sounding "like a nuke", according to the news outlet. He graduated from the University of Memphis with majors in journalism and art history, and a minor in geology.