What's the Problem?
The first explosion at the TPC plant, which occurred around 1 a.m. on Nov. 30, blew out the windows and doors of nearby homes, causing at least 3 people -- 2 TPC employees and a contractor -- to be seriously injured, according to CBS News . The blast was felt up to 30 miles away and sent toxic plumes into the sky that could be seen for miles.
"It's like the whole house was shaken," one survivor told CBS. "Kind of like a little mini earthquake."
A second massive explosion rocked the chemical plant later that day, forcing a mandatory evacuation for all residents of a 4-mile radius surrounding the plant. Officials said a number of other smaller blasts were reported throughout the day. In addition to the major injuries, several other local residents were treated for minor injuries, mostly caused by shattered glass.
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What Caused the Explosions?
The TPC plant houses several flammable chemicals including Butadiene, a gas used to produce synthetic rubber products. Long-term exposure to Butadiene has been linked to a range of severe health complications which are split into 2 categories: acute and chronic, which are further broken down into both low and high dose effects.
Related Article: Factors Causing Oil Rig Explosion
Butadiene Health Risks
Acute Low Exposure Symptoms
- Irritation to the eyes, throat, nose, and lungs
- Frostbite (with skin exposure)
Acute High Exposure
- Central nervous system damage
- Distorted blurred vision
- General tiredness (malaise)
- Decreased blood pressure
- Decreased pulse rate
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Reproductive Diseases
- Birth defects
- Developmental problems
Source: U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 
Chemical Plant Explosion in Texas Injures 3, Rocks Nearby Homes: ABC News Video
TPC Group Sued Over Environmental Regulations
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a lawsuit against the TPC Group over environmental violations associated with the Nov. 27 explosion at the company’s Port Neches chemical plant, according to GoSanAngelo . The suit, filed on behalf of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) in Travis County District Court, further alleges that TPC Group violated clean air laws repeatedly from Jan. 2018 to Sept. 2019. Plaintiffs are seeking injunctive relief, civil penalties, and legal fees.
Texas Regulators Seek Increased Penalties for TPC Group
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) on Wednesday rejected a fine of just $22,302 against the TPC Group for violations relating to last month's chemical plant explosion, asking the Executive Director to refer the cases to the Texas Attorney General's Office for "comprehensive enforcement action," according to KERA News . The vote came after commissioners heard testimony from Port Neches residents who described their experiences after the explosions.
Fred Vernon, 31, recalled abandoning the Thanksgiving dinner he was preparing in the kitchen and grabbing his 4-month-old daughter from her baby swing to get her out of the house. Shortly after stepping outside, the baby started vomiting even though they had thrown a blanket over her head. Vernon said he later vomited himself.
"The stories like that go on and on for families around southeast Texas," Vernon said. "I speak for myself. I believe I speak for my community."
TPC Group to Test Alarm System
Nearly 3 weeks after the Texas TPC Plant explosion, the coalition of agencies handling the catastrophe have announced they are restoring alarms around the facility, according to the Beaumont Enterprise . In the interim, the group has established a temporary mobile alarm system to make up for the loss of its emergency response devices resulting from the blast.
“Since we are still responding to an active event, it is important that TPC Group maintains its ability to communicate with our near neighbors in the event an operational issue occurs,” said Payton Keith, a spokesperson with unified command.
Can I File a Class Action?
Although Schmidt & Clark, LLP, is a nationally recognized class action firm, we have decided against this type of litigation when it comes to TPC chemical plant explosion lawsuits. Our lawyers feel that if there is a successful resolution to these cases, individual suits, not class actions will be the best way to get maximum payouts to our clients. If you or a loved one was injured in the explosion, we know you’ve suffered emotionally and economically, and want to work with you personally to obtain the maximum compensation for the damages caused by your injuries. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights.
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Do I Have a TPC Chemical Plant Explosion Lawsuit?
The Personal Injury Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in TPC Chemical Plant Explosion Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one has been harmed, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.