One dead, two seriously injured in KMCO chemical fire

One person is dead and two others have been airlifted to the hospital after an explosion at the KMCO chemical plant in Crosby.

The smoke plume that had been coming out of the tree line has since disappeared as of Tuesday afternoon. That’s a good sign in a fire that’s been going since 11 a.m.

The sheriff says the fire that resulted from the plant explosion is currently contained.

“It’s my understanding that a transfer line is what initially ignited, and then an adjacent tank is what caught fire with isobutylene," said Sheriff Ed Gonzalez of Harris County. 

Isobutylene is a highly flammable chemical in gas form at room temperature.

Harris County Fire Marshal’s officials say the fire spread to a warehouse next to the tank.

“It did go to a warehouse that has some dry chemical storage.”

Rachel Moreno from the Fire Marshal’s office says the warehouse that was on fire has been extinguished this afternoon.. but fire crews are still working on the tank that caught fire.

“We have numerous assets—some that actually came from the ITC facility to assist with putting out the fire.”

“It is disturbing and it is problematic that we’re seeing this incident at a facility, especially on the heels of ITC," says Lina Hidalgo, Harris County Judge. 

The EPA is moving some air monitoring resources from Deer Park to Crosby.

Matt Loesel/EPA

“The EPA is on site at this point without aerial aspect plane, our mobile TAGA bus and teams out in the field,' said Matt Loesel with the EPA. "At this point I’m not seeing any detections at action levels. I will continue to be monitoring throughout the community until the fire is out.”

There’s still no word at this time on where the one person killed and two injuries were located at the time of the explosion. We don’t yet know their role at the chemical plant.