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Fri Jan 24, 2020, 11:57 AM

Police: 1 missing after building explosion shakes Houston

Source: AP

HOUSTON (AP) — One person was missing following a large explosion at an apparent industrial building in Houston early Friday that heavily damaged nearby buildings and homes, left rubble scattered in the area and was felt miles away.

The Houston Fire Department said one person was taken to a hospital because of the blast and a fire burned at the site hours after the explosion. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said Friday morning that one person was unaccounted for.

People were told to avoid the area. Aerial images showed rubble where one building apparently had stood and debris strewn about. Surrounding structures had portions of their walls and roofs heavily damaged.

Mark Brady, who lives near the blast site, told Houston TV station KPRC that the explosion “knocked us all out of bed.”



This aerial photo taken from video provided by KTRK-TV shows damage to buildings after an explosion in Houston on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. A large explosion left rubble scattered in the area, damaged nearby homes and was felt for miles away. A fire continues to burn and people have been told to avoid the area. (KTRK-TV via AP)


Read more: https://apnews.com/ede4929d33bad49fb8dd0129adc445b4

13 replies, 1035 views

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply Police: 1 missing after building explosion shakes Houston (Original post)
Omaha Steve Jan 24 OP
getagrip_already Jan 24 #1
dalton99a Jan 24 #2
cannabis_flower Jan 24 #3
ProfessorGAC Jan 24 #4
oneshooter Jan 24 #5
ProfessorGAC Jan 25 #8
oneshooter Jan 25 #10
marble falls Jan 24 #6
CottonBear Jan 25 #9
oneshooter Jan 25 #11
CottonBear Jan 25 #12
oneshooter Jan 26 #13
KY_EnviroGuy Jan 24 #7

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Jan 24, 2020, 12:00 PM

1. That's a big hole for one small building....

What were they doing there?

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Jan 24, 2020, 12:13 PM

3. I live about 5 miles away and.

it was a strong enough blast to wake me up and set off a car alarm in the parking lot of our condos.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Jan 24, 2020, 12:33 PM

4. Just Read A Piece On This

First suspicion is a leaking tank of propylene.
Having quite the experience in this science & the industry, I have a few suppositions:
1. The volume & velocity of the blast suggests a BLEVE if this were just a plastic plant, and not an explosives manufacturer. Hence, this first suspicion makes a lot of sense.
2. Nobody, but nobody, would store 1,000 gallons of pressurized liquid, without legally required safety systems, like delta P over time, flammable gas detection, or liquid sensing in the dike. Unless,...
3. This was a shoddy organization that was skirting every regulation, had no Process Safety Engineer (a legal requirement under OSHA).
a. This could be willful and criminal, or;
b. This crappy little company, stayed small enough to be under PSE volumes, suggesting they really didn't know
what the hell they were doing.
Either way, 2 people are now dead, and somebody is in BIG trouble.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 24, 2020, 12:55 PM

5. The company built specialty valves

My family owned some property down the street from them. they have been in business for over 40 years.

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Response to oneshooter (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 25, 2020, 08:47 AM

8. Explains The Small Volume

But, they clearly didn't have any of three common safety measures required by law and I question whether the met Class 1 Div 1 electrical codes, also mandated for handling BLEVE potential materials.
Again, I'm surmising based on limited information about propylene.
Your family's property damaged?

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 25, 2020, 12:45 PM

10. We sold the property 12 years ago.

After Mom died, it was a requirement of the will. When we bought the property it was not in the city.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Jan 24, 2020, 12:59 PM

6. Why zoning in Houston is dangerous and needs to be reformed.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 25, 2020, 11:40 AM

9. There's basically NO zoning in Houston, which is why...

a manufacturing facility of that sort could be right in the middle of a residential area.

I visited friends in Houston back in the late 1980s. The land uses were crazy mixed up. They lived in a tiny 1960s subdivision behind a very large hospital complex. There were at least four large clusters of high rise buildings in different areas of the city, that I could see while driving on the interstate.

Since similar land uses weren’t grouped, my friends, who had just moved there, just had to randomly find and note where businesses and services were located. There could be a doughnut shop, an oil change place, a daycare center and liquor store in the middle of a residential area or an industrial area. The city is huge. It was confusing, to say the least.

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Response to CottonBear (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 25, 2020, 01:17 PM

11. Thy did NOT build in the "middle of a residential area"

This land was NOT in the city limits when we bought our land 50+ years ago. The street was ALL light manufacturing and auto shops. The homes were built around it. So blame the builders.

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Response to oneshooter (Reply #11)

Sat Jan 25, 2020, 04:03 PM

12. I understand that the manufacturing facilities were there first.

However, a main purpose of zoning codes is to separate incompatible uses.
My point is that, if there had been reasonable zoning on place, then, perhaps the destruction of residential property could have been avoided. The builders just took advantage of the lack of zoning.

It is fortunate that there were not more casualties. The destruction of homes and property is just terrible. I’m sure there will be much financial hardship for the affected residents and business owners.

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Response to CottonBear (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 26, 2020, 02:20 PM

13. You also understand that the property was NOT inside the city limits untill 15 years ago?

And Harris County does not "zone" property?

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Jan 24, 2020, 05:19 PM

7. Watson Grinding and Manufacturing

Well folks, you can see what it used to look like here:

Watson Grinding and Manufacturing

Link: http://www.watsongrinding.com/

(snips)
For more than 50 years, Watson Grinding & MFG. has reliably provided precision machined parts, thermal spray coatings and grinding services to the largest companies in the Oil & Gas, Chemical and Mining industries.

We have thermal spray coating solutions including HVOF, Plasma and Spray & Fuse. Our fully automated thermal spray facility allows us to handle large volumes of precise thermal spray work. We utilize an encyclopedic amount of exotic alloys.

We are specialists in CNC turning and CNC milling. Since we are a specialty manufacturer, we handle exotic alloys, hard metals and large parts. Our CNC department is continuously expanding.

We house extensive tooling and equipment for quick turnarounds at precise specifications. We perform O.D., I.D., spherical and flat grinding. Our capabilities include flat and O.D. lapping, we can lap a flat surface to zero light bands! Our ball grinding equipment can handle 53” diameters and we perform ball lapping & seat grinding at 100” diameters.


More coverage with lots of video here:

2 dead in massive explosion in northwest Houston; neighborhoods near blast site closed down
The deadly blast caused "significant damage" to nearby homes and businesses, according to the Houston Fire Department.
Author: Doug Delony
Published: 4:39 AM CST January 24, 2020

Link: https://www.khou.com/article/news/local/breaking-large-blast-rattling-windows-felt-across-houston-area/285-dfb38cd1-484e-48f3-b87c-6bac0b7f2a25

RIP to the two deceased workers...... .......

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