UPDATED STORY - FRIDAY 8:00 AM
The fire is still burning and an estimated 50,000 people are still displaced from their homes as they wait to see what is next. In the meantime, TCP Plant officials have called in a special industrial firefighting crew from Houston to assist.
Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick issued a mandatory evacuation at about 3:00 Wednesday afternoon for a 4 mile radius of the TCP Plant in Port Neches, which would include all of Port Neches and Groves, and areas of Nederland and Port Arthur.
Branick and others have said Thursday that they would evaluate the situation around 8:30 or 9:00 on Friday morning and make decisions on the evacuation order, the curfew that has been in places as well as the status of the fire and the plant. However, word is they have been delayed or hampered by heavy fog in the area.
The order to evacuate came one hour after a second explosion occurred at the TCP Plant in Port Neches at about 2:00 Wednesday afternoon. The second explosion sent a large metal cylinder flying hundreds of feet into the air.
The initial explosion occurred at the plant shortly before 1:00 Wednesday morning. It resulted in three plant workers being injured, and also caused numerous homes, businesses, schools, and other buildings in Port Neches to sustain broken glass and structural damage.
ORIGINAL STORY - WEDNESDAY 10:45AM
An explosion occurred at the TPC plant in Port Neches early Wednesday morning, rocking the neighborhood and breaking glass windows as far as a mile away. However, officials there are glad to report that only a few injuries and no deaths resulted from the incident.
So far officials with TPC, which produces gases and chemicals for the rubber industry have not said what caused the blast which occurred at the facility, which is located on Highway 366.
Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick said there were no reports of any fatalities and only three people with injuries He calls that a miracle. One worker suffered burns and was taken by medical helicopter to a Houston hospital. Another sustained a fractured wrist and a third sustained a fractured leg. One of those victims was treated and released. He says all workers are accounted for.
The blast occurred at around 1:00 at the facility which was formerly known as Neches Butane, which produces butadiene and raffinate. So far there is no indication of any hazardous chemical or vapor release as a result of the incident.