An explosion and massive fire erupted at a chemical plant southwest of Fort Worth, Texas, on Thursday morning, March 15.
One person is missing and at least two other people have been injured by the blast that took place at the Tri-Chem Industries plant, NBC DFW reported. The plant is located along Texas State Highway 171 in the Hood County town of Cresson.
Witnesses at the scene told NBC DFW that there was a “big kaboom” at about 9:45 a.m. The loud noise was then followed by “big fireballs” that started to shoot out of the building.
One of the injured suffered from severe burns and was sent to a Dallas hospital for treatment, FOX 4 reported.
Firefighters and first-responders are letting the fire burn itself out. The Fort Worth Fire Department has sent 10 units to the scene for fire and hazardous materials support, according to CBS.
The family of one of the workers at the plant, 27-year-old Dillon Mitchell, told CBS that he is still missing at the blast site, as of the time of this publication. They also said he “saw sparks” before the explosion.
A total of about 12 people work at the plant.
According to NBC DFW, secondary explosions were seen at about 11:15 a.m. as the fire continued. By 1 p.m., a large portion of the roof had collapsed and the fire had burned down to only a few active areas.
— WFAA (@wfaa) March 15, 2018
Cresson Mayor Bob Cornett told CBS that the liquid chemical plant manufactures products like soap, which is an acid. He said the emergency crew response was massive.
The fire was believed to have been caused by a worker who dragged his foot along the floor of the plant as the chemicals were being mixed, Cornett told the Associated Press. But officials told NBC DFW that static electricity may have been the cause of the fire.
Family of 27-year-old Dillon Mitchell says he is missing in #Texas chemical plant explosion. Family says he saw sparks before 9:30 explosion. 12 workers in plant. Law enforcement won’t confirm if anyone is missing. @CBSDFW
— MaryAnn Martinez (@maryanncbs11) March 15, 2018
Authorities will not know the cause of the explosion until the fire is out and they have time to investigate the scene.
The State Highway 171 was closed in the area due to the explosion, FOX 4 reported.