Enterprise Mont Belvieu Plant Explosion and FireDecember 14, 2011
On Tuesday afternoon, several explosions heard from the natural gas and liquids plant in Mont Belvieu, Texas, were followed by flames which could be seen from downtown Houston. Local media reported the wind blew smoke away from the Houston area, but local school children were being kept inside during play periods.
According to local sources, witnesses reported seeing workers flee the Chambers County plant at 12:25 p.m. A company spokesman confirmed at least one contractor has not been accounted for and no injuries have been reported to local police dispatch. San Jacinto Methodist Hospital also confirmed they had no patients from the plant.
Workers have reported escaping "by the skin of their teeth", and gave accounts of seeing a tank explode. Flames were also reported spreading to nearby vehicles and at least one building. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, only one state-highway was shut down as fire fighters from surrounding communities worked to contain the blaze.
Chamber County officials say there is no known threat to the public and have not called for evacuations. A shelter-in-place advisory was issued by Barbers Hill ISD, only a few miles away from the plant.
Enterprise Product Partners owns the plant which sits above a salt dome used to store and produce millions of cubic feet of natural gas. Enterprise built the Mont Belvieu complex in 1979.