GREGORY – Billowing fireballs over the Southcross Energy natural gas plant in Gregory were seen miles from the site.
San Patricio County Sheriff Leroy Moody said emergency crews were called to the 5500 block of Farm-to-Market Road 136 about 6 p.m. for an explosion at the plant, which processes natural gas.
Fire crews from Ingleside, Gregory, Aransas Pass and Taft assisted.
Carol Scott, spokeswoman for the Dallas based company, said no injuries were reported.
William Zagorski Sr., San Patricio County Emergency Management coordinator, said all pipelines funneling gas to the plant were shut off after the explosion and the fire was left to burn on its own, which took about two hours.
The Texas Department of Transportation shut down State Highway 35 between Aransas Pass and Gregory and northbound traffic was redirected through Ingleside Tuesday evening, TxDOT spokesman Rickey Dailey said.
“It’s part of a safety process to allow emergency crews to work the scene,” Dailey added.
Beyond the Ingleside exit, a large industrial flare could be seen and a lingering natural gas smell surrounded the parameter.
Farm-to-Market Road 136, which is in front of the plant, was closed and State highways 188 and 35 north and south of FM 136 also were shut down, Dailey said. They reopened about 9:50 p.m.
Moody said the fire may have been caused by a valve malfunction but Southcross officials said no details will be released until an investigation is conducted.
(c)2015 the Corpus Christi Caller-Times (Corpus Christi, Texas)
This article was written by Beatriz Alvarado from Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Texas and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.