Houston, TXA petroleum plant explosion has killed one contractor and all but destroyed a large part of a natural gas liquid plant. The facility, Enterprise Products, located on Sun Oil Road, about 35 miles east of Houston, was reportedly also used for storage and production of octane-boosting gasoline additives.
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Flames from the explosion were seen 17 miles away. An eye-witness reported hearing the liquid gas coming out of the ground before it exploded. Officials closed nearby streets, as the flames shot 500 feet up into the air. The blaze was so intense fire officials reported that nearby vehicles caught fire and exploded. Even a local school was affected, and students were ordered to remain inside the building for their safety.
Federal officials are investigating the explosion including the possibility that the fire was caused by a failure of a pipeline that carried the natural gas.
Enterprise employs between 600-700 workers at the plant, and many of those workers reported injuries resulting from the devastating explosion. The body of Rick Shaw, a contractor for the company, was found by officials hours after the explosion. Turner Industries, a Baton-Rouge based contractor, had reportedly hired Turner to work at the Houston plant.