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3 injured at Texas chemical plant, cities evacuate

A second explosion Wednesday at an East Texas chemical plant prompted officials to issue evacuation orders for three small cities and a portion of another as flames and smoke surged into the sky.

KBMT-TV reported that an afternoon blast at the TPC Group plant in Port Neches, about 80 miles east of Houston, followed a powerful burst at 1 a.m. that sent three workers to the hospital, injured some residents and caused property damage to homes and businesses.

County officials called for evacuations around a 4-mile radius that includes Port Neches, Groves, Nederland and parts of Port Arthur following the afternoon explosion.

TPC officials said two employees and a contractor were treated at hospitals after the initial blast and later released. The company said all employees are accounted for. 

Jefferson County Emergency Management coordinator Mike White told the Beaumont Enterprise that five residents were being treated for minor injuries, mostly related to shattered glass.