Massive Shelter-In-Place Issued After Huge Explosion

( – The San Jacinto County Office of Emergency Management has lifted the shelter-in-place order imposed after a chemical plant explosion in Texas on Wednesday morning. Following a comprehensive assessment of the situation, the shelter-in-place radius has been reduced to one mile.

The incident occurred at Sound Resource Solutions along U.S. Highway 59 in Shepherd around 8:17 a.m. The city is situated in San Jacinto County, approximately 60 miles northeast of Houston. As reported by FOX26 Houston, one person sustained first-degree burns to the face and second-degree and third-degree burns to the arms. The injured individual is receiving treatment at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. The sheriff’s office confirmed that 19 employees were present during the incident, but no additional injuries have been reported.

Initially, a 5-mile shelter-in-place order was issued, but it was later scaled down to a 1-mile radius after a thorough assessment by the San Jacinto County Office of Emergency Management. The explosion also prompted the evacuation of a nearby private school on FM 1127.

Images and videos from the scene depict a large black plume of smoke emanating from the plant. The cause of the explosion and the type of chemical involved remain unclear, although Sound Resource Solutions president Geoff Harfield referred to the incident as a “forklift incident.”

Emergency officials noted that the plume seemed to be heading toward the Livingston area, leading to the evacuation recommendation for residents along U.S. Highway 59 from Goodrich to Leggett. They were advised to shelter in place and turn off HVAC systems in homes and businesses due to the unknown effects of the airborne chemical. U.S. Highway 59 remained closed from FM 1988 to Exit 451B as emergency responders continued their work at the scene, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.