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Police: 1 missing after building explosion shakes Houston


Police: 1 missing after building explosion shakes Houston

Houston, Jan 24 (AP) One person was missing following a large explosion at an apparent industrial building in Houston early Friday that heavily damaged nearby buildings and homes, left rubble scattered in the area and was felt miles away. One person was taken to a hospital because of the blast, the Houston Fire Department said, and a fire burned at the site hours after the explosion. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said that one person was unaccounted for.

A fire continued to burn at the site hours after the explosion and people were told to avoid the area. Aerial images showed rubble where one building apparently stood and debris strewn about. Surrounding structures had portions of their walls and roofs heavily damaged. The explosion, which appeared to be centered on an industrial building, shook other buildings about 4:30 a.m., with reports on Twitter of a boom felt across the city. People were told to avoid the area.

Houston police tweeted that officers were blocking off streets in the area. Police said people should avoid the area, but no evacuation has been ordered. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said first responders were checking on residents of nearby homes. Several people told Houston TV station KHOU that the explosion was so loud, they thought a bomb had gone off or that a vehicle had crashed into their homes. At one man's home about 1/4 mile (0.4 kilometers) away, glass doors were shattered, ceilings were cracked, and the lid of his toilet was even torn off, the station reported.

Southeast Texas has seen a series of explosions in recent years up and down the Texas Gulf Coast, which is home to the highest concentration of oil refineries in the nation. Last July, an explosion at an ExxonMobil refinery in Baytown left more than dozen people with minor injuries and put nearby residents under a shelter-in-place advisory for three hours. In December, two blasts in the coastal city of Port Neches shattered windows and ripped the doors from nearby homes. (AP)

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(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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