Massive Explosion Devastates Houston Neighborhood, at Least Two Residents Killed
A massive explosion ripped through a Houston neighborhood just before dawn on Friday, January 24. At least two neighborhood residents were killed in the blast, according to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo. At least one person was listed as missing as of mid-morning.
An unknown number of people may have been injured in the blast that leveled structures in the blast zone. At least two injured individuals were seen straggling out of the explosion area directly after the massive blast. At least one person was taken to an area hospital. Search and rescue is ongoing. During the early portion of the search and rescue operation, drones initially are being used. This tactic is employed because of instability and ongoing dangers persisting in the blast zone.
The explosion occurred at Watson Grinding and Manufacturing. According to the company’s website, Watson is a machining and manufacturing firm. There is no available information about injuries or fatalities at the plant itself at this time.
The owner of Watson announced following the deadly blast that the explosion originated in a propylene tank. Propylene is a highly flammable gas used in the manufacture of an array of different types of plastic products.
Approximately 200 homes were damaged as a result of the explosion, many severely so. This includes residences not only being completely destroyed but others being blown off their foundations and suffering other types of severe damage.
According to search and rescue crews, the primary debris field is centered in Houston’s Westbranch neighborhood, specifically in the area between Gessner and Steffani Lane. The primary blast zone extends for about a half a mile. Structures have suffered damage outside of the primary zone and it is possible that more injuries have occurred in a wider area.
The exploding tank continued to spew out propylene gas for several hours after the initial explosion. As a consequence, propylene gas has been released into the air surrounding the manufacturing plant. Officials are monitoring air quality, but as of noon on the day of the explosion have issued not alerts to the general public regarding health dangers.
Propylene gas can cause health issues. Early signs of propylene gas inhalation include eye irritation, burning sensations to the throat and mouth, nausea, as well as vomiting. A person experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.
While schools in the area are open, officials have placed the facilities on lockdown. Students and faculty are not being permitted out of doors during the school day in the event that air contaminants are present.
In addition to manufacturing plants, the Westbranch neighborhood is nestled in a part of Texas with the highest concentration of oil refineries in the United States. The area has been the scene of multiple massive explosions in recent years, including in the past 12 months. For example, in July, a large explosion at an ExxonMobil refinery in Baytown resulted in injuries and extensive property damage. A pair of explosions in Port Neches caused significant property damages as well as injuries. These explosions also resulted in plumes of toxic smoke being spewed throughout the different blast zones.
Area residents and employees of the manufacturing facility with questions or concerns about the industrial accident can obtain information from an experienced Houston explosion injury lawyer by calling (832) 835-0000. The Houston explosion injury lawyer hotline is open around the clock, 24 hours a day.
A person injured in the Houston industrial plant explosion, or a family who has lost a loved one in the deadly blast, can consult with a Houston explosion injury lawyer from The Doan Law Firm by calling (832) 835-0000. A nationwide law firm with tremendous resources, The Doan Law Firm is headquartered in Houston at:
The Doan Law Firm1 Riverway Suite 2500Houston, Texas 77056
There is no charge for a consultation with a Houston explosion injury attorney from The Doan Law Firm. In addition, the firm never charges a fee unless a favorable settlement or judgment is obtained for a client.