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After Texas Plant Explodes, Search Resumes for Missing Worker

The search for a man who is missing after an explosion and fire destroyed the Texas chemical plant where he worked is underway again Friday. Dylan Mitchell, 27, is believed to have been at work inside the Tri-Chem Industries Plant in Cresson when something exploded, sparking a fire that consumed the building Thursday. Texas Chemical Plant Explosion Leaves 1 Missing, 2 Injured Mitchell’s brother, Austin Mitchell, spoke with NBC 5 Thursday afternoon and said his family is fearing the worst since his brother hasn’t been seen since the blast was reported.”It sucks. I feel hollow,” Austin Mitchell said. “It’s been this long, he’s probably dead.”The section of the building that remains standing after the fire was searched by rescuers earlier Friday, but there was no sign of Mitchell in that part of the building.The search was halted for part of the day while the collapsed part of the building was evaluated. Sometime before 2 p.m., crews began using heavy machinery to lift parts of the collapsed structure so that the search for Mitchell could continue.Officials at the scene said some parts of the building are still smoldering and that the search could take some time.”What’s in there is still dangerous right now, there are a lot of fires still burning in there; relatively small fires,” said Ron Becker, Chief of the Cresson Fire Department. “We know, based on some witness accounts, where we think the individual was last seen and it’s a portion of the building that has collapsed.”The Environmental Protection Agency and a specialized hazmat team are on site assisting in the investigation. Two other people working at the facility were injured in the fire, including one person who was critically burned on his trunk and hands and flown about 50 miles to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.A second injured person, whose injuries were not as serious, was taken to Lake Granbury Medical Center.NBC 5 has learned about 12 people work at the Cresson facility, which opened about a year ago. There were no other injuries reported and it’s not immediately clear how many people were working at the facility Thursday.On Friday, a list provided to state regulators shows the mixing facility routinely worked with a number of different chemicals, including acids, many of them flammable and others that are toxic.Air quality around the area has been monitored and officials do not believe there is any threat to the public.The investigation into the fire, meanwhile, is ongoing. Though most believe the cause of the fire was accidental, arson investigators from Tarrant County are also looking into what caused the fire.NBC 5’s Kevin Cokely and Tim Ciesco contributed to this report.Photo Credit: NBC 5 News/Mitchell Family This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.
Source: NBC San Diego

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