INGLESIDE, Texas — UPDATE: San Patricio County initially confirmed to 3News that there had been an explosion at their plant outside of Ingleside, Texas. They later clarified that the sound of an explosion was caused when a valve ruptured, releasing pressurized chlorine gas.
911 operators were flooded with calls Thursday afternoon when a huge plume of smoke was spotted coming from Occidental Chemical plant just outside the city limits of Ingleside, Texas.
According to San Patricio County Emergency Management Coordinator Sara Williams, it was around 1:30 p.m. when crews were starting up a piece of equipment and a valve ruptured, releasing chlorine and causing a loud explosion-like sound. The chlorine was under pressure and also ignited.
Workers at the Oxy Chem plant, along with personnel at the nearby Chemours Ingleside plant, were told to shelter in place.
Williams said crews then put water on the fire and were able to suppress it and keep it under control.
The shelter-in-place was lifted shortly before 4 p.m. Thankfully, no injuries were reported as a result of this incident.
In the meantime, Williams said air monitoring is being conducted to make sure the chlorine release did not go beyond the property.
3News will keep you updated as more information becomes available.
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