Port Neches Plant Explosion Displaces Families at Thanksgiving

In the early morning hours of November 27, 2019, a loud explosion rocked the town of Port Neches.  The Port Neches plant explosion resulted in three people injured, extensive property damage across the town, and release of a known carcinogen: butadiene.  Subsequently, at least three more explosions were reported at the Texas Petrochemicals aka TPC Group plant resulting in a smokestack being launched into the air like a rocket.   Black particles continued to float on the air after the blasts as officials urged people not to touch the particles.

Evacuation at Thanksgiving

A mandatory evacuation has been ordered by Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick for persons living within a 4-mile radius of the Port Neches plant was issued at 3:30 p.m the same day.  The evacuation affects approximately 60,000 people living in the following areas:

  • Port Neches
  • Beauxart Gardens
  • Central Gardens
  • Groves
  • Nederland
  • parts of Port Arthur

There has been no word so far on how long the evacuation will remain in place.

Red Cross Shelter

An emergency shelter has been set up by the American Red Cross in Beaumont. The shelter is located at Ford Park.  Persons needing shelter as well as small pets in kennels/crates are welcome.

What is Butadiene?

Butadiene is a chemical used in the making of tires and other rubber and plastic products. It is most commonly encountered in industrial settings, automobile exhaust, tobacco smoke, and polluted air near chemical, plastic, or rubber plants. Butadiene has been shown to cause cancer in lab animals.

Persons exposed to butadiene may result in the following symptoms:

  • irritations and/or burns to the eyes and skin
  • drowsiness
  • lightheadedness

Increased instances of leukemia and cardiovascular disease have been reported among persons exposed to butadiene over long terms.

Past Violations by the Port Neches Chemical Plant

TPC Group had a history of citations for violations of the Clean Air Act.  In 2017, they were ordered to pay over $72,000.00 in civil penalties and upgrade their equipment, including spending $275,000 to upgrade their butadiene detection system.  This is the second southeast Texas plant explosion to occur recently wherein the compliance of the chemical leak detection system was in question.

Talk to a Port Neches Plant Explosion Lawyer

If you live in the 4-mile radius of the plant and suffered direct injuries or suffered from eye or skin irritations necessitating medical care, you may be entitled to compensation. A plant explosion lawyer may be able to help. Contact Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. for a free consultation.  We charge nothing for the consultation. We also work on a contingency fee basis when we take your case so that you pay us nothing unless we make a recovery.