Blast fears over flooded Texas plant

Photo: Reuters

A chemical plant near the flooded US city of Houston is expected to explode or catch fire in the coming days, the BBC reports.

During heavy rainfall from Hurricane Harvey, the Arkema plant at Crosby, Texas, lost refrigeration of chemical compounds which need to be kept cool, and there is no way to prevent a fire, the company said.

At least 33 people have been killed in the aftermath of the storm.

US energy supplies have also been hit, as oil companies shut down pipelines.

The US National Weather Service downgraded the former hurricane to a tropical depression but has forecast continuing heavy rainfall over eastern Texas and western Louisiana.

The Arkema chemical plant shut down its production on Friday, before the storm made landfall.

But 40in (102cm) of rainfall in the area flooded the site and cut off its power, the company said in a statement. Backup generators were also flooded.

The facility manufactures organic peroxides, and chemicals stored on site can become dangerous at higher temperatures.

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