NBC News reports:
A flooded chemical plant near Houston exploded twice early Thursday, sending a plume of smoke into the air and triggering a fire that the firm plans to let “burn itself out.” Arkema Group, one of the world’s largest chemical companies, had warned Wednesday that the plant would catch fire and explode at some point — adding that there was nothing to stop it.
Arkema spokesman Jeff Carr said the chemicals being released into the air are not dangerous to people, although smoke — similar to that of a large campfire — may affect some. He added that because the facility’s grounds have been evacuated since rains from Hurricane Harvey swamped the region this week, the explosions themselves shouldn’t harm anyone.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office tweeted earlier Thursday that one deputy was taken to the hospital after inhaling fumes from the plant and nine other deputies drove themselves to the hospital as a precaution. In total, 15 law enforcement officers were being observed at the hospital, Bob Royall, an assistant chief with the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office, told TODAY.
Twice this week Rachel Maddow reported on the inevitability of this explosion.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 31, 2017