HOUSTON - Two people are confirmed dead after a massive explosion at a Houston industrial company.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo says authorities don’t believe Friday morning’s explosion was intentional though a criminal investigation is underway.
Acevedo asked residents who live nearby to search their homes and neighborhoods for any debris — including body parts — and to contact police if they find anything that could aid in the investigation.
The explosion happened about 4:30 a.m. inside a building at Watson Grinding and Manufacturing, which makes valves and provides thermal-spray coatings for equipment in various industries.
It heavily damaged nearby buildings and homes, left rubble scattered in the area and was felt miles away.
The Houston Fire Department said earlier that one person was taken to a hospital because of the blast.
Acevedo later said one person was unaccounted for.
He said the debris field extends for half a mile. Even though there’s no known inhalation hazard, he urged people to avoid inhalation exposure “out of an abundance of caution.”
Other small explosions were reported at the facility.
The facility owner told KTRK that a propylene tank was believed to have exploded.
This story was reported from Charlotte, North Carolina