On November 27, 2019 the TPC plant in Port Neches, TX had two major explosion and subsequent fire causing a mandatory evacuation of around 50,000 residents of Port Neches, Groves, Nederland, Central Gardens, Beauxart Gardens and parts of Port Arthur, TX.
The explosion shattered countless windows and blew doors off their hinges. The fire also caused an enormous cloud of thick black smoke to cover the area. The TPC plant reported that 3 employees received medical attention for minor injuries.
While the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) maintained that the air quality was within permitted range and posed no health threat, the black smoke plume descending into the entire area and has been confirmed to contained the carcinogens Butadiene and Asbestos.
Residents reported trouble breathing, headaches, and nausea and were cautioned to seek medical attention if they suffered from those or other symptoms of Butadiene or Asbestos exposure. They also warned residents not to touch any explosion debris they encountered on their property, as it could contain Asbestos.
While the mandatory evacuation was lifted on Thanksgiving day, the smoke continued to rise from the plant, and so does community concern about the long term effects.
CBS News interviewed Hilton Kelley about the concerns for the safety of the community. View interview at: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/texas-chemical-plant-blasts-50000-people-allowed-back-home-2019-11-30/