BREAKING NEWS: Texas Chemical Plant On Fire - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

BREAKING NEWS LIVE VIDEO: Texas Chemical Plant On Fire

MONT BELVIEU, Texas - An explosion and fire ripped through a Houston-area chemical plant, leaving thee people unaccounted for Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

Explosions were heard about 12:15 p.m. at Enterprise Products on Sun Oil Road in Mont Belvieu, about 35 miles east of Houston, NBC station KPRC reported.

Bright orange flames consumed a large part of the natural gas liquid fractionation plant that also provides storage, KPRC said. Thick black smoke filled the air as TV images showed flame-engulfed vehicles parked adjacent to the plant.

Mont Belvieu Mayor Nick Dixon told MSNBC cable TV that flames could be seen for 7 miles.

Three people were unaccounted for at the plant, where 600 to 700 work, Dixon said.

The flames were not near homes, he said.

The nearby Barbers Hill Independent School District ordered students to stay indoors as a precaution.

Nearby streets were closed.

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