Firefighters contain blaze at Texas chemical plant
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Texas firefighters have largely been able to contain a blaze that destroyed a chemical plant in Waxahachie, about 30 miles south of Dallas.
The fire sent massive plumes of black smoke and bright orange flames spiraling into the sky Monday, forcing workers to evacuate, as well as nearby schools and businesses. No one was killed or injured in the blaze.
The fire started as workers at the Magnablend Inc. facility in Waxahachie were mixing chemicals in a 7,000-gallon vat shortly before 11 a.m., according to Waxahachie Fire Chief David Hudgins.
“It was something they would normally do,” Hudgins told the Los Angeles Times. “We don’t know if they got it out of kilter or what.”
Hudgins said the workers noticed an abnormal smoke plume near the vat, then paper-like debris started falling on them. They alerted firefighters and evacuated, he said.
By the time firefighters arrived minutes later, flames had already burned through the back wall of the plant, Hudgins said. He saw several dozen workers heading away from the plant. He said firefighters tried to cut the flames off and save the building, but liquid chemicals started flowing under the doors and flames spread, engulfing a fire truck and threatening seven nearby railcars. The railcars did not burn, he said.
Hudgins said he was working with officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to check the impact of the fire on local air and water. He said they assured him late Monday that they had found “nothing significant from the air monitoring.”
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