Explosion and Fire Imminent

It’s not often that a report is received about a dangerous event that’s about to happen and little that can be done to avoid it but these are extreme circumstances!

The Texas Floodings created by Hurricane Harvey is creating just that at the Arkema Chemical Plant in Texas, USA.

In anticipation of the hurricane the chemical plant shut down its operation and placed the site into a relative ‘safe-mode’. But the extreme flooding has not only resulted in the plant losing their electrical power that provides cooling to some of their unstable chemicals but it has also disabled their back-up generators.

The plant produces, amonsgt other things Organic Peroxides used in a wide range of products from the construction industry to pharmaceuticals.   The production and storage processes create heat which has to be cooled and its this function that’s failing!

Some organic peroxides are dangerously reactive. They can decompose very rapidly or explosively if they are exposed to only slight heat, friction, mechanical shock or contamination with incompatible materials.  Organic peroxides are useful as initiators for some types of polymerisation, such as the epoxy resins used in glass-reinforced plastics. MEKP and benzoyl peroxideare commonly used for this purpose.

The CEO of Arkema Chemicals, Richard Rowe has stated that an explosion and fire of substantial magnitude is very likely.   Local residents and flight control centres have all been advised and an exclusion area of about a 2 mile diameter is being put in place.

Fire and Rescue services will severely restricted in taking any action due the flooded conditions and small scale environmental damage is likely.

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