Explosion at Texas chemical plant blows out windows on homes miles away

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PORT NECHES, Texas (AP) — A plant that produces chemical and petroleum-based products in East Texas has exploded, blowing out windows on homes several miles away.

KFDM-TV reports that County Judge Jeff Branick says the explosion originated at a plant in Port Neches, near the Louisiana border, on Wednesday at about 1 a.m.

TPC Group says on its website that it provides a diverse range of quality products to chemical and petroleum-based companies worldwide. The site says the company employs more than 175 full-time employees and 50 contractors. Calls to the TPC Group went unanswered.

The Nederland Volunteer Fire Department said on its Facebook page that there is a mandatory evacuation for everyone within a half mile of the TPC plant. It said the evacuation could expand to a greater area.

Posts on social media by residents show the night sky lit up by orange flames and filled with thick smoke.

Branick says no injuries have been reported so far, calling that a miracle.

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