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$1 million fleet of Chevys trapped after deadly explosion at Houston factory across street

A fleet of cars worth $1 million is trapped inside a building across the street from the Houston factory where a huge gas explosion left two dead.  

Houston Corvette Service was located right across from Watson Grinding & Manufacturing and was destroyed by the blast that ripped through the manufacturing plant in Houston’s northwest on Friday.   

Gordon Andrus, the owner of the car business, told KTRK-TV that two of his buildings holding customer cars had been flattened, trapping $1 million worth of Chevrolet Corvettes inside.

‘Mine are flattened. It’s sitting there with about a million dollars in cars right now. We restore old Corvettes, and it’s full of what used to be really nice cars,’ Andrus said. 

Before: Houston Corvette Service was located right across from Watson Grinding & Manufacturing

After: The car business was destroyed by the explosion that ripped through the manufacturing plant in Houston's northwest on Friday

After: The car business was destroyed by the explosion that ripped through the manufacturing plant in Houston’s northwest on Friday

Gordon Andrus, the owner of the car business,said two of his buildings holding customer cars had been flattened, trapping $1 million worth of Chevrolet Corvettes (pictured) inside

Gordon Andrus, the owner of the car business,said two of his buildings holding customer cars had been flattened, trapping $1 million worth of Chevrolet Corvettes (pictured) inside

Andrus said he was grateful that no one had been hurt in the building because the site was empty at the time.   

Two employees at Watson were killed in the explosion in the northwest of the city at about 4.30am on Friday.    

The owner of Watson Grinding and Manufacturing, which makes valves and provides thermal-spray coatings for equipment in various industries, said it was a propylene gas explosion but the cause is not yet clear.  

Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said early indications pointed to a leak of some kind at the manufacturing site. 

A drone image of the damage at the site of the explosion at Watson Grinding and Manufacturing

A drone image of the damage at the site of the explosion at Watson Grinding and Manufacturing

Two employees at Watson were killed in the explosion in the northwest of the city at about 4.30am on Friday

Two employees at Watson were killed in the explosion in the northwest of the city at about 4.30am on Friday

The owner of Watson Grinding and Manufacturing, which makes valves and provides thermal-spray coatings for equipment in various industries, said it was a propylene gas explosion but the cause is not yet clear

The owner of Watson Grinding and Manufacturing, which makes valves and provides thermal-spray coatings for equipment in various industries, said it was a propylene gas explosion but the cause is not yet clear

A 2,000-gallon tank of propylene gas outside the building had been secured. Propylene is a colorless, flammable, liquefied gas with several industrial uses. It is highly flammable and can explode in a fire. People exposed to propylene can become dizzy and light-headed, and the gas can also cause liver damage. 

Aerial images showed the factory reduced to burning rubble and debris. Some of the surrounding buildings suffered heavy damage to parts of their walls and roofs. 

Smoke and flames could be seen billowing from the area in the aftermath of the blast as emergency vehicles converged on the area. 

A fire burned at the site hours after the explosion and a hazardous materials team was on the scene, according to the Houston Fire Department.  

The explosion shook other buildings with reports on Twitter of a boom felt across the entire city with many fearing it was an earthquake or that a vehicle had crashed into their homes. 

The explosion shook other buildings with reports on Twitter of a boom felt across the entire city with many fearing it was an earthquake or that a vehicle had crashed into their homes

The explosion shook other buildings with reports on Twitter of a boom felt across the entire city with many fearing it was an earthquake or that a vehicle had crashed into their homes 

Houston Fire Department firefighters make their way through debris near the site of an explosion

Houston Fire Department firefighters make their way through debris near the site of an explosion

A surveillance camera from a nearby home captured the moment the blast happened with a huge flash of light exploding into the sky. The force of the explosion was so big that the CCTV camera fell.     

Mike Iscovitz, a meteorologist with the local Fox News channel, said the huge blast had shown up on local weather radar and was felt more than 20 miles away.

‘Radar clearly shows this brief FLASH of reflectivity from NW Houston,’ he tweeted. 

The explosion appeared to be centered on the industrial building and some nearby homes were damaged.  

A building is damaged after the explosion at the northwest Houston manufacturing business

A building is damaged after the explosion at the northwest Houston manufacturing business

The ceiling of a home collapsed after the explosion at a northwest Houston on Friday morning

The ceiling of a home collapsed after the explosion at a northwest Houston on Friday morning

The side brick facade of a building collapsed after the explosion

The side brick facade of a building collapsed after the explosion

The powerful explosion caused windows to shatter in homes and door jambs to crack. 

One nearby gas station also had its front doors blown wide open.  

‘It’s a warzone over here,’ resident Mark Brady told Click2Houston.’ (The explosion) knocked us all out of our bed, it was so strong.

‘It busted out every window in our house. It busted everybody’s garage door in around here… and closer toward the explosion over here, it busted people’s roofs in and walls in and we don’t know what it is. 

Debris from the explosion can be seen on the roof of businesses near the factory

Debris from the explosion can be seen on the roof of businesses near the factory

Maria Hernandez and her son, Alejandro Ambriz, 10, stand by the kitchen where the ceiling collapsed in their home, just one street east where an explosion occurred

Maria Hernandez and her son, Alejandro Ambriz, 10, stand by the kitchen where the ceiling collapsed in their home, just one street east where an explosion occurred

The doors of a local gas station are blown open by the blast

Blast damage at a petrol station nearby

Photos posted on Twitter showed a local gas station which had its front doors blown open by the impact

Rubble from the explosion covered the ground as fire crews and first responders arrived on the scene of the blast

Rubble from the explosion covered the ground as fire crews and first responders arrived on the scene of the blast

‘This is a big disaster. I really don’t know what happened.’ 

Another resident, only identified as Kim, said the roof of her home collapsed onto her sleeping family and they had to be rescued by neighbors. 

‘The whole house is ruined. The whole ceiling crashed down on all of us. We were all trapped in there and a nice family came and helped up out. It’s just trashed,’ she said.  

Residents as far flung as Pasadena – about 16 miles away – said they thought the explosion had gone off in their back yard.  

Those who live nearby were evacuated over fears of a secondary explosion and noxious gas. 

An investigation into what caused the blast is underway.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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