Residents of Deer Park and Galena Park have been ordered to shelter-in-place and avoid going outside as emergency crews work to find the source of elevated benzene levels at the Intercontinental Terminals Co. facility.
About the Elevated Benzene Levels in Deer Park
According to the Houston Chronicle, the shelter-in-place order comes after a massive fire made its way through a chemical storage facility, burning for a total of three days. The fire sent a miles-long plume of black smoke in the air that was visible from Houston.
Health officials say that only the area immediately award the chemical plant has been affected due to low wind speeds keeping the vapors relatively contained.
While the fire was extinguished Wednesday, by Thursday morning benzene has escaped through a large foam blanket covering the chemical tanks at the facility.
Officials say the area south of Tidal Road, east of Beltway 8, West of Underwood Road, and north of Pasadena Boulevard is most affected by the benzene leak and have closed State Highway 225 from Beltway 8 to Highway 146.
Residents of Deer Park and Galena Park are urged to remain indoors and to close all doors, windows, and other sources of outside air. Additionally, residents should turn off air conditioning and heating systems and close fireplace dampers to keep chemical vapors from entering their homes.
Schools Close After Deer Park Benzene Leak
The following school districts have announced closures due to the Dear Park benzene leak:
- Channelview ISD
- Pasadena ISD
- Deer Park ISD
- La Porte ISD
- Sheldon ISD
- Galena Park ISD
- All San Jacinto College campuses and the district offices
- Clear Horizons Early College High School (a Clear Creek ISD school)
- YES Prep East End and Southeast campuses
Symptoms of Benzene Exposure
People exposed to high levels of benzene in the air may develop the following symptoms.
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
Symptoms may be immediate or could occur several hours later.
Contact an Experienced Benzene Exposure Attorney
If you or a loved one have developed an illness such as cancer after being exposed to benzene, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our experienced workplace injury attorneys have handled a multitude of on the job accidents resulting in severe injuries and illnesses. Cancer caused by benzene can require years of treatments, surgeries, and rehabilitation. Medical costs can start to pile up, making life that much more difficult for you and your family.
Let us help you and your family obtain the real results you deserve to compensate for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. Contact Thomas J. Henry today if you were injured after benzene exposure on the job. Our firm has offices in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide. We will provide you with a free case review and will take immediate action on your behalf.