Investigation continues into deadly explosion at northwest Houston

The investigation into the deadly explosion at Watson Grinding and Manufacturing Company in Northwest Houston is continuing. 

Houston Police have confirmed two workers at Watson Grinding died in the early morning explosion and a number of residents were injured in the blast that shook homes as far away as Kingwood.

”We heard this big blast and we thought the neighbor had crashed into our house because it was that loud,” says northwest Houston resident Kenzi Vivas.

Teams of workers are searching area neighborhoods for debris and to make sure there aren’t any more victims.  

"We have rescue dogs with us, members from the ATF, the police department to make sure we’re doing a systematic search of these neighborhoods,” explains Houston Fire Department Chief Sam Pena. 

19 people were injured.

As the ATF works with the Houston Fire Department to figure out what caused the explosion, Chief Pena says the propylene gas valves at the company are shut off and it may have been a leak that caused the blast.  

"There is no hazard with the air quality. We have hazmat on the scene. They’ve been monitoring throughout the day,” says Chief Pena. 

Gordon Andrus’ 25-year-old car restoration company, Houston Corvette Service, which was right next to Watson Grinding was also destroyed.  

“It’s terrible. It’s about a million dollars in cars up there. The buildings just collapsed on the cars," he said.

Nearly 200 homes are damaged, some were blown from the foundation.  "So it’s like crooked now,” says Vivas.   

"This is a working-class neighborhood. These individuals woke up this morning needing resources most of them do not have,” says Senator John Whitmire. 

A shelter is now open for them and looters are being warned to stay away.  

“You will be charged to the full extent of the law, understand that. You will not be given a slap on the wrist. I want you to think back to Hurricane Harvey and we caught someone looting and they were sentenced to 20 years in prison,” says Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.  

The chief says there’s no indication the explosion was intentional or an act of terrorism.

He is asking you to please check your yard and report any debris you find.

If you’d like to help, donations are being accepted at the Duncan YMCA on Clay Road.