As of this morning, five of the tanks were still burning, officials said. Three tanks have burned out and two tanks without chemicals in them have collapsed. The fire is within a block of 15 storage tanks on the southern edge of the plant. Five tanks — two containing base oil, two containing pyrolysis gasoline, and one containing toluene — haven’t ignited.
“We’re doing everything humanly possible to protect them,” said ITC spokeswoman Alice Richardson.
Now in its third day, the fire continues to send dark smoke over Deer Park and throughout Harris County. Company and government leaders say air quality readings are below hazardous levels. No injuries have been reported. At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Deer Park Mayor Jerry Mouton Jr. sought to calm residents’ fears that the plume posed serious health risks. Flanked by more than a dozen city and county emergency response officials, the trio pledged to devote all available resources to measuring air quality.
“I know the cloud of dark smoke seems ominous as it spreads over parts of the city of Houston, but we want to assure that the air quality is being monitored around the clock,” said Turner.