HOUSTON - Authorities now confirm a propylene leak likely caused Watson Grinding to blow up last Friday morning. Officials say no indication of an intentional criminal act has been found during the investigation into the explosion.
The explosion at Watson Grinding and Manufacturing occurred just before 4:30 a.m. January 24. Two workers at Watson Grinding were killed in the large blast. More than 450 buildings were damaged and at least 35 homes received “major destruction”.
On Friday, we met with a homeowner that’s family lived along Stanford Court. One week later, their home remains without water and power.
“It’s crumbling,” said Rebecca McKeehan, describing their home. “We are waiting to get moved out.”
Dozens of homeowners have expressed interest in pursuing legal action against Watson Grinding.
While the initial cause of the blast has been released, it could be a few more weeks before a report is officially finished.
“This is going to be an ongoing investigation still,” said Houston Fire Department Chief Samuel Pena. “The report won’t be filed for another 60 days.”
“There’s no indication that it was arson,” said Fred Milanowski from ATF. “[There’s] no indication it was sabotage. No indication it was vandalism. Once there was some sort of arcing in the system, that spark set of the explosion.”
According to McKeehan, she personally isn’t aware of anyone from Watson speaking with homeowners impacted by the blast.
The Houston Fire Department, the Houston Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have been leading a joint investigation into the explosion.