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Missing man presumed dead after Cresson plant explosion

18 March 2018

Officials said fears of another blast amid the toxic chemicals prevented crews from battling the blaze.

Cornett said Tri-Chem Industries mixes chemicals that are primarily used by the oil and gas industry to drill disposal wells, and that although he didn't know how numerous chemicals at the plant were hazardous, "what was burnt and exploded was quite toxic".

Hood County records showed that in 2017 the company had chemicals that were toxic and flammable.

Gillum says experts determined there are no air quality issues but the site remains risky because of the hazardous industrial chemicals.

He is the only one of 12 plant employees who is unaccounted for after Thursday morning's explosion.

Hours ago, the sister of the missing Dylan Mitchell posted a message on Facebook, saying her heart hurts and she can't imagine life without him.

Jessica Gregg told television station KXAS that the man flown to Parkland was Jason Speegle, her son-in-law. Catherine Bradley, a spokeswoman at Parkland, said Speegle was in serious condition Friday.

"The Cresson Fire Department did try to make an initial entry into building before it collapsed but were pushed out by those explosions", said Wilson.

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Hood County Fire Marshal Ray Wilson says, "Use their expertise to move through the building and not just rush in".

A medical helicopter landed Thursday at MotorSport Ranch, a private race track several miles from the plant, but the worker was too injured to fly, according to the ranch's director of safety and volunteer Cresson firefighter, David Piontkowski. After the flames calmed, crews entered the wreckage for another search for Mitchell but found nothing and ended for the night, Cornett said late Thursday. He didn't know when they would resume the search.

The search has been hindered by fire at the plant and hazardous chemicals. But Wilson said the plant contains acids that react to heat, pressure and water, which is why they haven't yet turned on the fire hose.

There is a fertilizer plant adjacent to the Tri-Chem plant, but Wilson said there was "no known threat" to that facility.

Emergency crews battled a fire southwest of the metroplex in Cresson, Texas for hours after a workers say a spark caused a chemical fire at a Tri-Industries Plant.

Cornett says investigators believe the fire at Tri-Chem Industries was sparked when a worker dragged his foot along the floor of the plant while chemicals were being mixed. Another worker with less severe injuries also was treated at a hospital.

Texas Department of Public Safety Staff Sgt. Earl Gillum said experts determined there were no air quality issues Thursday, but that the site remains unsafe because of the chemicals still to be cleaned up.

Missing man presumed dead after Cresson plant explosion