Huge chemical plant explosion in East Texas

A chemical plant explosion rocked an East Texas city in the middle of the night on Wednesday.

Reports that a TPC Group plant in Port Neches, Texas, had exploded came in at about 1 a.m. A release from the company says emergency responders are still taking steps to “bring the event under control.”

Two employees and a contractor were reported injured and transported to Southeast Texas Regional Medical Center and Memorial Hermann in Houston for treatment. All employees were accounted for, according to the TPC Group release.

“At this time, we cannot speak to the cause of the incident or the extent of damage, but TPC is assembling a team to conduct a full and thorough investigation,” the release said.

The blast reportedly caused “extensive damage” to homes and businesses throughout the city, blowing out windows and dispersing chemicals into the surrounding air. The explosion sparked evacuation and shelter-in-place orders in the areas around the plant, USA Today reported.

Five residents are being treated for minor injuries related to the explosion, with most involving shattered glass, Beaumont Enterprise reported.

"There's extensive damage throughout the city," Port Neches Police Chief Paul Lemoine said, according to USA Today. "Please stay off the roads anywhere near the refineries. Obey all the barricades that are in place. We are doing everything we can to keep everyone safe and informed."

TPC is working with emergency response to complete air monitoring in the areas surrounding the plant, according to the release. The company produces butadiene and chemicals used in synthetic rubber, fuels, lubricant additives, plastics and surfactants, according to USA Today.