Arkema under criminal investigation after plant explosion, DA says

Smoke and flames are seen at the Arkema plant in Crosby, Texas, on Sept. 1, 2017.
Smoke and flames are seen at the Arkema plant in Crosby, Texas, on Sept. 1, 2017. (KPRC)

CROSBY, Texas – A chemical plant in Crosby is under a criminal investigation after several explosions, according to the Harris County district attorney.

Arkema Inc. lost power when it flooded during Hurricane Harvey. Workers were unable to keep the chemicals at the appropriate temperature. The containers began exploding Aug. 31 and continued burning for four days, forcing the evacuation of homes and businesses within a 1 1/2 mile radius of the plant.

A lawsuit was filed Tuesday by Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan over the release the unknown chemicals when their containers exploded.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg released the following statement on Friday:

"Companies should be on notice that we care when they pollute our air, our water, our environment. We are looking into exactly what happened at the plant. We are gathering facts and we will apply the law. Arkema is under criminal investigation."

First responders have filed a separate lawsuit against the company after several of them became ill while keeping residents clear of the evacuation zone.

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