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At least 2 killed in powerful blast that ripped apart Houston plant

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HOUSTON, Texas (KXAN) — A manufacturing plant exploded in northwest Houston Friday morning, and now authorities say two people have died as a result of the blast.

Houston police chief Art Acevedo confirmed the deaths at a press conference Friday. He asked residents nearby to search their lawns and yards and contact police if they find anything that could help the department’s investigation.

“If you felt the blast, when you have time, do a search around your home,” Acevedo said. “Even if you’re a mile away from this location, look for any debris, any body parts, anything that may be related.”

Acevedo made it a point to say authorities have no reason to believe the explosion was intentional, but a criminal investigation will still take place.

Houston authorities responded to 4500 Gessner, near Clay Road, and have a command post set up at the intersection of Gessner and Tanner roads. The blast happened at Watson Grinding and Manufacturing Co., authorities say.

Acevedo said they are still assessing the cause of the blast.

Joey Carpentier, who lives in Houston, sent KXAN the above video from his doorbell camera at his home on Centrepark Drive in Houston. He said the camera faces Gessner and Clay roads.

Emergency personnel are telling residents nearby to leave their homes if they can, as there could possibly be another explosion.

Our partners at Metro Video Services, LLC were also on scene and spoke with residents nearby who saw, and felt, the exploision.

“I was in bed and was literally blown awake. The walls were shaking around us. I heard glass in the house. It was obviously an explosion nearby,” Greg Darr said.

Darr said after he woke, he went toward the scene and saw a man in the road “bloodied up.”

“He said they smelled gas, but it exploded around them before they could do anything,” Darr said.

Spring Branch ISD said it will keep all its students inside as air quality continues to be monitored in the area. Houston ISD said they’ll operate as normal.

Acevedo and other Houston authorities held a press conference to provide details about the blast Friday morning.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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