37 people suffer minor injuries in Baytown ExxonMobil plant fire


BAYTOWN, Texas (NBC News/ KXAN) — Tall flames and smoke are pouring out of an ExxonMobil plant in Baytown, Texas Wednesday, according to local media reports.

The City of Baytown first tweeted about the fire at 11 a.m. As of 11:35 a.m., a shelter-in-place has been issued for residents and businesses located west of the plant and south of the Texas 330 Spur. The city tweeted a map of the area under shelter-in-place notice.

The Exxon Mobil facility in Baytown is located about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Houston. 

The city said the fire is in the unit that contains polypropylene material. Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer used in multiple applications such as packaging and plastics.

The company announced on Twitter at 11:36 a.m. that they are conducting “personnel accounting.”

“Our first priority remains the safety of people, including our employees, contractors and the community,” they wrote. “As a precaution, our industrial hygiene staff is conducting air quality monitoring at the site and the fenceline, and we are cooperating with regulatory agencies.”

There was a fire at the same facility in March, according to a report from the NBC affiliate in Houston. Shelter-in-place and evacuations were not ordered during that response.

Thirty-seven people have been reported with minor injuries, according to KPRC in Houston. The Baytown Fire Department has not received any word of workers being trapped int he building.

The area has seen similar large fires this year involving other petrochemical companies, too. In April, one worker died after a tank holding a flammable chemical caught fire in Crosby. And in March, a fire burned for days at a petrochemical storage facility in nearby Deer Park.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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