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October 3rd, 2011

Massive Fire Breaks Out At Waxahachie Chemical Plant

A massive fire at a chemical plant in Waxahachie  was about 90 percent contained, fire Chief David Hudgins said Monday afternoon. There were no reports of injuries.

Waxahachie fire officials warned of possibly toxic fumes and smoke from the Magnablend plant, and emergency officials were wearing protective suits. Billowing black smoke at the plant, near U.S. 287 and Interstate 35 East, could be seen from as far away as south Fort Worth.

Environmental Protection Agency officials said they were monitoring air quality and should have a report by 5 p.m. Authorities urged city residents to stay indoors with the windows closed.

Hudgins said that crews were mixing chemicals when a reaction sparked the fire just before 11 a.m. He also said some of the surrounding neighborhoods had been evacuated. Firefighters from Waxahachie and nearby cities, including DeSoto, Red Oak and Midlothian, battled the fire.

Wedgeworth Elementary School also was evacuated and students sent to the Ninth Grade Academy, said school district spokeswoman Nicole Mansell.

The chemical refinery injury attorneys of Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers  represent plant workers injured on the job and the families of workers killed in refinery accidents.

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