Massive petroleum fire rages in Texas; residents ordered to shelter-in-place

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SAN JACINTO COUNTY, Texas (Gray News) – Authorities issued a shelter-in-place order for Texas residents within a one-mile radius of a chemical plant fire Wednesday.

A large plume of smoke could be seen in video captured by residents as the plant caught fire in Shepherd, Texas.

San Jacinto County Office of Emergency Management said in a statement that a private school in the area had been evacuated and that Highway 59 was closed due to the fire.

Shepherd is a mainly rural area about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northeast of Houston.

Local authorities warned residents to shelter in place and to shut off their HVAC air conditioning systems. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office shared on Facebook that the plume could be heading toward the Livingston area.

“At this time, the effects of the chemical in the air are unknown,” the Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook.

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