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Photos: A massive petrochemical fire in Texas will burn for days

Johnny Simon
By Johnny Simon


A massive fire at a Texas petrochemical storage terminal will continue to burn and spew jet-black smoke for two more days, officials say.

Yesterday (March 18), the blaze—which started March17—engulfed tanks holding the toxic chemicals naphtha, xylene, and toluene at Intercontinental Terminals Company in Deer Park, near Houston. Naphtha and xylene are components in the production of gasoline and other petroleum products. Toluene, a widely applied solvent, is in nail-polish remover, glues and paint thinner, the Houston Chronicle notes.

Company officials say, as of yesterday, the air-quality measurements had not reached dangerous levels beyond the facility, where photos show the massive column of black smoke emerging from the terminal. Harris County officials warned nearby residents that the smoke could irritate eyes and skin and cause breathing problems.

AP Photo/David J. Phillip
Firefighters battle the petrochemical fire at the Intercontinental Terminals Company on March 18, in Deer Park, Texas.
AP Photo/David J. Phillip
A plume of smoke rises from fire at the Intercontinental Terminals Company.
While health officials haven’t sounded the alarm just yet, the fire is expected to burn for a few more days.
Jaimie Meldrum via Reuters
A view of the fire burning at the Intercontinental Terminals Company in Deer Park.
Reuters/Loren Elliot
Smoke rises from a fire at the Intercontinental Terminals Company.
Reuters/Loren Elliot
A thick layer of smoke was hanging in the air on Monday.
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