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Texas tank farm blaze envelops eight tanks, causes shelter in place order

18 March 2019

A fire at the Intercontinental Terminals Company Deer Park facility near Houston, which broke out on the morning of March 17 affecting two tanks, spread overnight to six other tanks causing thick clouds of smoke to cover the neighbourhood. There were about 30 ITC employees inside the plant at the time of the explosion, but there were no reported injuries. 

Representative image - Shutterstock
Representative image - Shutterstock

Firefighters are trying to control the fire, which started in a tank containing naptha and then spread to a second tank containing xylene, both constituents of gasoline.

Another tank that caught fire contains Toluene, which is used in nail polish remover, glue and paint thinner, plant officials told Eyewitness News. 

While an evacuation has not been ordered, the City of Deer Park remains under a shelter in place and residents are encouraged to stay indoors.

According to ITC's website, the company has 13.1 million barrels of capacity in 242 tanks, and stores all kinds of petrochemical liquids and gases, as well as fuel oil, bunker oil, and distillates at the site.

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