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Thursday, 31 August 2017

#HurricaneHarvey: Explosion rocks chemical plant in flooded Texas | French magazine, Charlie Hebdo mocks victims

A resounding blast and thick black smoke has been seen issuing from the Arkema plant at Crosby, BBC reports.

Due to the heavy rainfall from Hurricane Harvey, the complex lost its ability to refrigerate chemical compounds that need to be kept cool. At that, there surely was no way to prevent an explosion and the company did warn of it.




It should be noted that, The Arkema chemical plant, which is 21 miles (34km) from Houston, shut down its production on Friday just before the storm made landfall. But, with a 40in (102cm) of rainfall in the area which flooded the plant site, the power disconnection and back-up generators flooded was unavoidable.

The chemical plant manufactures organic peroxides compounds which are effective in the production of pharmaceuticals and construction materials among others, and can become dangerous at higher temperatures.

The CEO, Richard Rowe told Reuters  before the reports of explosions that, “Any fire will probably resemble a large gasoline fire. The fire will be explosive and intense.”

“ The black smoke produced would irritate skin, eyes and lungs. The high water that exists on site, and the lack of power, leave us with no way to prevent it” – he added.

However, as part of precautionary measures to prevent a major disaster, residents have been evacuated in a 1.5 mile (2.4 km) radius around the plant as a precaution – though, the fire is expected to be mostly contained to the site itself.

The last remaining workers at the site were evacuated on Tuesday and Federal Aviation Administration has issued a temporary ban on flights near the plant.

Meanwhile, French controversial magazine, Charlie Hebdo has on its new cover curated a statement which appears to mock Texans, by depicting them as neo-Nazis caught in the deluge of tropical storm Harvey.

According to New York Post, the word on the cover means “Drowned All the Neo-Nazis of Texas”, and was accompanied by an illustration showing swastika flags and arms raised in a Nazi salute — all submerged in water.

The cover has sparked criticism and sent social media agog with furious responses. Paramount among those taking offense include conservative commentator Debbie Schlussel.
She wrote on her Twitter page, “So the idiots at Charlie Hebdo are cheering the #Houston #Harvey disaster b/c they claim it drowned neo-Nazis. WTF?!,”

Another user, Matt Blaine wrote, “That’s a great way for France and Charlie Hebdo to show gratitude for the Texas boys that fought for her liberation from the Nazis.”





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