At approximately 12:30 PM CST, a major fire was reported at the Enterprise Products plant in Mount Bellvieu, Texas. According to eyewitness reports, the intensity of the fire was so great that trucks in adjacent parking lots were melting. There are also unconfirmed reports of several explosions being heard. Traffic on the highway in front of the plant has been stopped by local authorities.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that one person is missing as a result of the fire.
"We're trying to determine his whereabouts," Enterprise spokesman Rick Rainey said.
Earlier, a local police dispatcher said that no injuries had been reported and that the cause of the fire is under investigation.
At 3 PM CST, Exxon Mobil reported that its petrochemical complex in Baytown, Texas, was experiencing limited impact from the fire/explosion(s).
At 3:30 PM CST, Houston CBS affiliate WHOU had pictures indicating smoke from the fire was now appearing on weather radars.
At 4:30 PM CST, the Houston Chronicle reported that the plant continues to burn. Nothing that is burning is toxic, a company spokesperson said.
Pipelines to the plant were shut down so no new flows come into the facility. But the liquids in the pipe are continuing to burn.
According to Enterprise Products, the pipelines werent near capacity so the fire wont burn as long as it might have at full capacity.
There are no plans to try to extinguish the fire. Instead, the plan is to focus on letting it burn and cooling the area around it.
One nearby school has been evacuated. The main area of the plant where most of the equipment was located has not been affected by the explosion and blaze.
Enterprise Products Mount Belvieu location is a major propylene fractionation plant. NGL processing and storage also occurs at the facility. Stay tuned to Hydrocarbon Processing for further updates.
Photo courtesy Fox News-Houston.