An explosion and fire were reported at Valero's Texas City refinery, which has a refining capacity of 225kb/d. The explosion occurred at unit 106, according to the Texas City Police Department; the unit is a light hydrocarbon unit, according to court clerk Tammy Odom.
While the Fire continues to burn as of 7pm ET, no injuries or fatalities have been reported.
There has been an explosion at the Valero plant. As per Valero there is no need for a shelter plant. At the current time we have fire crews from the area and industry responding to the fire. No known casualties or injuries. Please continue to monitor.— City of Texas City (@CityofTexasCity) April 19, 2018
Video I just got from a viewer of the fire at Valero Refinery in Texas City. Shot 30 seconds after explosion. Says he was half a mile north of explosion when he heard it. Says he could feel the heat. #khou11 pic.twitter.com/cS7u8pncHL— Marcelino Benito (@MarcelinoKHOU) April 19, 2018
Texas City reported that no shelter in place was in effect.
The buses taking home the after schoolers from 21st Century are now rolling. There is no shelter in place in Texas City.— Texas City ISD (@TexasCityISD) April 19, 2018
Aerial videos from local television station KTRK showed flames erupting from the refinery and plumes of smoke.
Valero spokeswoman Lillian Riojas said that the fire began at 5pm local time, and the company has "very little information" on cause of fire. Valero released the following statement:
"At approximately 5 p.m., a fire occurred at Valero's Texas City refinery. Valero's emergency response teams are on the scene. Valero has contacted local authorities and are cooperating with appropriate regulatory agencies and other key stakeholder groups.
"At this time, Valero has very little information as to the cause of the fire.
"Our primary concern is for the safety of our workers."
It is also unclear yet what the extent of damages is, whether Valero's refining output will be affected by the explosion, and whether the explosion will impact regional gasoline price.