An evacuation order affecting about 50,000 people in Texas was lifted after officials determined that a fire at a chemical plant was under control.
“We are in a position to say it’s contained,” Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick was quoted as saying in The Associated Press on Friday. “We feel comfortable with the efforts that have been made by our firefighters.”
Branick on Wednesday issued an evacuation order for people within a 4-mile radius of the TPC Group facility in Port Neches, Texas, which is about 95 miles east of Houston.
The AP reported that there were two explosions at the facility that injured three workers on Wednesday.
Branick said the explosions’ cause may remain unknown for several months, but that the air quality will not be harmful to residents, according to the wire service.
TPC Group’s Health Safety and Security director Troy Monk also said that there would still be smoke in the air and flames at night, according to the AP.
“I would love to tell you we’re going to be done by the end of the day (but) I would not be telling you the truth if I made that statement,” Monk said. “It’s very difficult for us to quantify in days how long this is going to take.”
The AP also noted criticism from environmentalists, who have pointed out that the blasts took place a week after the Trump administration eased chemical plant safety regulations.