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Explosions rock Harvey-flooded Arkema chemical plant

A fire burns at the flooded plant of French chemical maker Arkema SA in Crosby, Texas, Aug. 31, 2017. (Photo: Adrees Latif/Reuters)

Explosions rock Harvey-flooded Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas

Fires and two explosions rocked a flooded Houston-area chemical plant early Thursday, sending up a plume that federal authorities described as “incredibly dangerous” and adding a potential new hazard to the aftermath of Harvey.

The blasts at the Arkema Inc. plant, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Houston, also ignited a 30- to 40-foot flame. The French operator of the plant said up to eight more chemical containers could burn and explode.

Local officials insisted that the explosion produced no toxins.

The blasts happened as floodwaters from days of relentless rain began to recede and the threat of major dangers from the storm shifted to a region near the Texas-Louisiana line.

Fire authorities said the blasts were small and that some deputies suffered irritated eyes from the smoke, but they emphasized that the materials that caught fire shortly after midnight were not toxic. (AP)

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