31 March 2004 04:15 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--BP Chemicals said late Tuesday that an explosion and fire at its Texas City, Texas chemicals complex has forced closure of a gasoline production unit at the site but that there are no injuries to plant personnel or contract workers.
Marti Snyder, spokeswoman for BP Chemicals at Texas City, told CNI there was a single explosion in a furnace at the plant at approximately 18:30 Central Standard Time (00:30 GMT Wednesday). She said the cause of the blast is not known. The gasoline unit was operating at the time of the blast, she said.
Municipal officials at Texas City - some 30 miles southeast of Houston on Galveston Bay - initially issued a shelter-in-place for residents in the plant vicinity, but BP spokeswoman Annie Smith told CNI that the shelter order was lifted by 21:00 local time.
Smith said BP's own fire-fighting crews and those with the Texas City Industry Mutual Aid fire-fighting agency are working to contain the blaze.
Snyder said there are no off-site consequences from the explosion and fire.
Snyder also said that only the blast-struck gasoline production unit has been affected and that no other gasoline or chemical production facilities at the Texas City complex have been shut down as a consequence of the incident.
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