HOUSTON - A "major industrial accident" was reported early Thursday at an ExxonMobil plant in Texas, leaving four workers injured, according to local authorities.
Reports indicated an explosion occurred around 1 a.m. local time inside the plant in Baytown, Texas, located about 25 miles east of Houston. Four employees were injured, with three taken to hospitals by helicopter suffering second- and third-degree burns, officials said. One person was also taken by ambulance.
Everyone else on site has been accounted for, said Rohan Davis, the refinery's manager.
"No fatalities have been reported. There is currently no shelter in place," the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter, adding for people to avoid the area.
ExxonMobil’s Baytown plant said its emergency response teams had extinguished the flames. It took them roughly 45 minutes to do so, according to FOX 26 Houston.
The cause of the fire is not yet known. Flames broke out where gasoline is produced, FOX 26 reported, noting that the affected area was shut down, but the rest of the facility remained in operation.
"Our first priority is people in the community and in our facilities. Air monitoring continues along the fence line. Available information shows no adverse impact at this time," ExxonMobil’s Baytown plant said in a statement.
"We are coordinating with authorities as appropriate, and all findings will be incorporated in our continuing effort to enhance our safety performance. We deeply regret any disruption or inconvenience that this incident caused to the community," the statement added.
Video from the scene showed thick smoke billowing above the facility.
ExxonMobil’s Baytown operations are located on approximately 3,400 acres along the Houston Ship Channel, according to its website. Its refinery has the capability to process up to 584,000 barrels of crude oil each day and employs about 7,000 people.
The company set up an information line at 1-800-241-9010 for community members affected by the incident.
This story was reported from Cincinnati.