Officials have ordered that all residents evacuate their homes following a second explosion at the TPC Group plant in Port Neches, Texas.
The first explosion went off at 1am at the petrochemical plant and has continued to burn since 1am on Wednesday, sending billowing smoke into the air.
In a video shared on Facebook, footage of the second explosion shows what appears to be fiery structural pieces shooting into the air.
Footage of the second explosion at TPC Group shows the flames bursting and debris blasting several feet in the air
As a safety precaution, county officials have asked that residents in the cities of Port Neches and Groves evacuate the area.
12 News Now reporter H. Tyler Seggerman says that as of Wednesday evening, residents living in Nederland and in a four mile radius have been told to evacuate.
The American Red Cross had previously set up a shelter at the First Baptist Church in Nederland.
Pictured: The initial explosion at TPC Group that set off around 1am on Wednesday morning and continued to burn as emergency services workt o contain the flames
Residents near TPC Group petrochemical plant captured waves of dark, billowing smoke wafting from the explosion sight throughout Wednesday
Officials have ordered residents in Port Neches, Groves and Nederlands to leave the area after a mandatory evacuation was implemented
As firefighter’s battled the blaze, locals affected by the blast were forced to clean up shattered glass and boarded up windows that were blown out throughout town.
In response, the TPC Group has announced an insurance hotline for residents to call at (866) 601-5880.
Pictured: School administrators tape off the entry way to the high school gymnasium after the force of the blast pushed in the doors
A local resident trains his dog at a park near the blast before officials ordered people within a four mile radius of the blast to evacuate
Clouds of dark smoke were visible from a nearby little league baseball park after an explosion went off that morning
Earlier in the day, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said a mandatory half-mile evacuation zone was put in place around the burning plant, and people were told to leave their homes.
From around 8am to 12pm, the Southeast Texas Alerting Network, or ‘STAN,’ released an alert calling for a shelter to be placed for all Port Arthur residents north of Highway 73.
A shelter was previously ordered for the entire city of Groves, but was lifted around 6.30am.
Employees at the Avenue Coffee Shop in Port Neches sweep up shards of glass after the restaurants front windows were blown out
Several residences were damaged with shattered windows and fallen walls after the initial explosion was felt up to 30 miles away
Currently, Highway 366, or Magnolia Avenue, is closed between Highway 365, or Nall Avenue, and Spur 136.
At least three people have been injured after a powerful explosion at a petrochemical plant in Port Neches, Texas, today.
The initial blast around 1am on Wednesday shook homes up to 30 miles away.
Pictured: One of the many boarded up windows found near the TPC group plant on Wednesday
A man picks of pieces of glass from his bedroom windows on Wednesday
One resident’s garage door was blown back after the explosions, landing on a vehicle and leaving fallen debris behind
Crystal Holmes, Captain at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office said they were ‘able to pull two injured employees out’ and take them to local hospitals.
A third person also received minor injuries, though Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick said there were no fatalities, calling it ‘a miracle’.
Of the three injured, one was transported by a helicopter for burn wounds and one has suffered a broken arm.
Pictured: Photos of the TPC group plant after two explosions went off
Emergency crews are working to contain the flames before extinguishing them and investigate the cause of the explosion
Troy Monk, director of health safety and security for TPC Group, told CNN that officials are focused on containing the fire and keeping nearby storage tanks cool.
Next, officials will shift towards extinguishing the fire and then investigating the cause.
‘Fire crews continue to battle the blaze. Right now it’s contained and not going anywhere but it’s not under control,’ Crystal Holmes said.
At least two workers at a TPC Group petrochemical plant in Texas were injured after a huge explosion lit up the night sky around 1am
Local businesses had walls and windows blasted aside by the force of the explosion, which was captured on nearby home CCTV systems
People living up to 30 miles away reported feeling the blast, while those living in nearby Port Arthur and Bridge City said the explosion felt ‘like a bomb’
Hilda Lorena, who uploaded footage of the burning plant to Twitter, wrote: ‘[It] felt like a big bomb had hit. Shook the whole apartment, praying everyone is OK.’
Meanwhile Omar Hamza, who lives 15 miles from the site of the blast, uploaded photos that showed the windows of his apartment had been blown out by the shockwave and his garage doors had buckled inwards.
Ryan Mathewson, who lives roughly two minutes from the plant, told AFP: ‘We woke up to glass all over us and parts of the ceiling caved in, (and) doors blown in.’
The 25-year-old said he and his family were ‘shook up and scared’ following the blast.
Pictures and video from the scene show a huge fireball lighting up the night sky and pumping out potentially toxic smoke.
People living in Bridge City and Port Arthur, around seven miles from the blast, reported feeling the explosion shake the foundations of their homes.
Local reporter Jillian Fertig uploaded images of a street of shops just feet away from the blast where walls had been knocked down by the force of the explosion.
Sources said the initial blast was followed by several smaller ones, with firefighters now on scene trying to prevent further explosions
TPC Group, which operates the plant, said the explosion happened in a ‘processing unit’, but could not give an explanation as to why it blew up
The explosion was so large it also showed up as a hot spot on local weather radar, while the National Weather Service picked up the smoke plume via satellite.
TPC Group, which operates the plant, said the explosion happened in what it said was a ‘processing unit’ at around 1am local time (0700 GMT).
‘TPC Group has activated its Emergency Response Plan and requested assistance from Port Neches Fire Department and Huntsman.
‘The event is ongoing, but will be brought under control as quickly and safely as possible.
‘At this time, personnel at the site have been evacuated. We have accounted for all site personnel and three personnel have sustained injuries and are being treated.
‘Right now our focus is on protecting the safety of responders and the public, and minimizing any impact to the environment.’
The Port Neches plant is around 85 miles (135 kilometers) from Houston.
More than 200 people work at the facility, according to TPC Group’s company website.
The facility produces butadiene, a flammable gas used in the production of synthetic rubber, and other petrochemicals such as butane.
A shelter for those forced from their homes has been opened at a church in Nederland, local media said.